“This is the first time in history kids know more than adults about something really important to society — maybe the most important thing.”
That’s how author Don Tapscott describes Generation Z. They are smart, ambitious, entrepreneurial, and extremely tolerant (except when it comes to parents who need tech support). But what really sets Generation Z apart is that they are the world’s first screenagers. While prior generations had to learn to incorporate technology into their lives, this generation was born into a digital world.
“The result could well be the most profound generation gap ever: a digital divide between parents who see the Internet as disrupting society as we know it … and their kids, who are not only at home with the technology … but are already driving many of the shifts happening in how we communicate, the way we access information and the culture we consume.”
The spotlight now shift to Generation Z, the unimaginative term for the cohort following Gen Y, or Millennials. While dispute rages over parameters, Gen Z are loosely defined as those born after 1995 and who are now 18 and under. It’s a big group: two billion worldwide, and one-quarter of the North American population.
Research, though still in beta, points to the emergence of a stellar generation: educated, industrious, collaborative and eager to build a better planet. In fact, in a manner typical of the need to neatly compartmentalize generations, Gen Z is already being branded as a welcome foil to the Millennials, born between 1980 and the mid- or late 1990s, who have been typecast as tolerant but also overconfident, narcissistic and entitled.
How has digital life has shaped a generation? Get to know Generation Z here.