The numbers are in from recent studies of younger teens of Generation Z, also known as "Homelanders" or the kids who follow Generation Y. They are part of a population who grew up during the aftermath of 9/11, where terrorism is part of the landscape, a sour economy is all they know and uncertainty defines our mindsets.
In many ways, we need to stop assuming they'll simply be extensions of Generation Y (or Millennials). They are the younger counterparts to the older generation and have grown up with new technology that has marked them. While Generation Y grew up with computers, Generation Z grew up with touch-screens. Their phones have always been "smart." Bill Clinton is a president from history, and Madonna is an aged veteran... like Elton John or Michael Jackson. They never knew her when she was "like a virgin." We live in a new day.
The shifts this new generation will bring.
1. While Generation Y spent money boldly and with few boundaries, 57 percent of Generation Z prefers saving money to spending it.
2. While Generation Y spent loads of time at the mall, Generation Z prefers shopping online for almost all their purchases... except for online games. Hmmm.
3. While Generation Y grew up during a strong economy, Generation Z is growing up in a time of recession, terrorism, violence, volatility and complexity.
4. While Generation Y subscribed to everything social, Generation Z doesn't want to be tracked, preferring Snapchat, Secret, or Whisper to communicate.
5. While Generation Y watched YouTube, Hulu and Netflix, Generation Z wants to co-create, live stream and help to make up the activity as they participate.
6. While Generation Y loved sports and adventure, Generation Z sees sports as a health tool, not for play. Their games are inside. Teen obesity has tripled since 1970.
7. While Generation Y grew up with slightly longer attention spans, Generation Z has an attention span of 8 seconds. Approximately 11 percent have ADHD.
8. While Generation Y initiated text messages as a norm, Generation Z prefers communicating through images, icons and symbols.
9. While Generation Y worried about their growing social status and their "likes" on social media, Generation Z worries about the economy and world ecology.
10. While Generation Y enjoyed a life that revolved around them, Generation Z plans on coping with multi-generational households and marriages (400 percent increase).
According to a recent report from Sparks and Honey, these younger children and teens are from a smaller population that will be more about coping with reality than Generation Y, who was about virtual reality. For instance:
- Their movies are The Hunger Games and Divergent, where youth are being slaughtered and kids no longer feel as central to their world.
On the other hand, they are growing up in America, where:
- The average Gen Z kid receives $16.90 a week in allowance, translating to $44 billion a year.
What do you observe in these younger students? Are you up on Gen Z?