从第一天开始，作为数字原生代的Z世代一直就是通过互联网来了解世界。他们不断进行互通，存在一种令人担忧但又不可避免的二元现象，类似拉丁习语“Quod me nutrit me destruit”（“养育我的亦毁灭我”）所表现的一样。虽然社交媒体为成长、学习、联系和建设带来了无限的机会，但它也造成了一定程度的破坏。青少年患抑郁症、产生焦虑情绪和自杀倾向的概率远胜以往。《2016年监测未来》研究显示，每周在社交媒体上花费超过10小时的13岁儿童不快乐的可能性升高了56％，而27％的社交媒体用户患抑郁症的风险会增加。
而Z世代又包括两个截然不同的群体：Gen Me 和Gen We。
Move over Millennials, Gen Z are ushering in a ‘population tsunami’. With current estimates at two billion globally, this demographic is slated to be the single largest group of consumers worldwide in just a few years. While much has been written about the demographic, we wanted to go straight to the source to identify how our clients could better tap into their burgeoning spending power. We interviewed over 40 teenagers aged 16-21 from around the world in countries from Korea to the UK.
The rise of individualism
Uniqueness is a priority for Gen Z. The most ethnically diverse generation in history, difference doesn’t scare them as it may have in the past. For Gen Z, there’s more emphasis during adolescence on creating their own path, whether that means building new educational systems or their own personal brands.
Gen Z wants to reframe outdated social constructs and create new ones. Brands that do the same will resonate with them. They sway towards brands that celebrate self-expression and empowerment. They don’t want brands that cater to everyone, they want brands that cater to the individual.
The beauty (and backlash) of connectivity
Digital natives from day one, Gen Z have never known a world without the World Wide Web. Their constant connectivity surfaces an alarming but unavoidable dichotomy similar to the Latin phrase “Quod me nutrit me destruit” (“What nourishes me destroys me”). While social media has provided endless opportunities to grow, learn, connect and build, it has also caused some level of damage. Never before have teens been so susceptible to depression, anxiety and suicide. According to a 2016 Monitoring the Future study, 13-year-olds who spend over 10 hours a week on social media are 56% more likely to be unhappy, while 27% of social media users see an increased risk of depression.
Born in the information age, Gen Z is more intellectually advanced. Yet, they’re also growing up slowly and taking longer to embrace the responsibilities of adulthood. It was even suggested in a recent child development scientific journal that the age range for adolescence should be expanded from 19 to 24 years old. Gen Z is engaging in less ‘adult’ activities (having sex, drinking, getting a driver’s license and working) than any other generation.
The number of sexually active ninth-graders has halved since the 1990s
In 2015, the teen birth rate hit
a global all-time low
71% of college-aged men and 67% of college women
say they wish they had more opportunities
to find a long-term partner
The fall in drinking among 12th graders in the US
Underage drinking in the UK has halved
The number of American Gen Zers with mortgages
Only 69% of Gen Z had their driver’s licence in their senior year, compared to 87% of Baby Boomers at that age
The number of eighth-graders working
during the summer has halved
Less time is spent on homework by
fiscally conservative Gen Zers today
For Gen Z, nothing could be worse than being attached to an idea before being seen as an individual. Remember, this is a demographic that doesn’t want to be everybody’s demographic.
Their approach to labels is loud and clear – they don’t care about them and neither should society. From The New York Times to USA Today, several publications have explored what Gen Z themselves would like to be called. The results speak volumes; they’re bold, ironic, optimistic yet realistic, and über-informed in understanding the complexities of their place in society.
Gen Me & Gen We
Regardless of what you call them, you need to understand them. And to understand them, means to accept that they are a deeply divided group.
When looking at the generation as a whole, two separate segments emerge that live on polar opposites of the spectrum: Gen Me and Gen We
In the next edition, we are going to introduce the difference between Gen Me and Gen We. Stay tuned!