OK Zoomer: Gen Z separates itself from the rest


Abigail Hicks

Info-graphic displaying different statistics about Generation Z.

Abigail Hicks, Staff Writer

Baby boomers can keep their antiquated traditions, Gen X can continue its apathetic approach, and entitled millennials can keep their avocados, for Gen Z has emerged with traits that make them truly one of a kind.

Probably the most definitive quality possessed by Gen Z is their use of technology. Zoomers befriended technology at birth and have never experienced a period of time without it. The first iMac was introduced in 1998 and further exemplifies the relationship the dubbed iGen has developed. With that in mind, Gen Z is considered the most technology savvy generation, according to Staffing in Kansas City. While the other generations use technology just as regularly, iGen has comfort and adaptability they do not.

Gen Z is predicted to change and advance the world of technology and business with the knowledge they garnered by the cause of their early introduction. Their education has been flooded with all sorts of technology, examples including the Chromebooks given to students. Technology ready at their fingertips gives them a competitive edge over the other generations.

Through their emotional and social differences, Gen Zers also earned a reputation for progressive ideology. Considered the most racially and ethnically diverse, Gen Z is also more likely to accept interracial and same-sex marriage, according to Court House News. Their broader acceptance indicates that they also embrace more diverse points of view on sensitive topics like sexism, racism, and homophobia.

“We managed to change some of the stereotypes that have been in place for a while,” said senior Bella Fox.

While their social ideals seem more left-leaning, 50 percent of the politically active population of Gen Z self-identify as independent, according to Pew Research Center. This lack of party identity might even help dissipate some future partisan polarization.

Another important difference lies in their “loud and proud” resistance to the lack of a response to climate change by politicians. Young leaders such as Greta Thunberg are organizing climate strikes and giving speeches, aiming to bring about change.

However positive Gen Z comes across, they also have been heavily affected by mental health issues. Teenage rates of depression increased by 60 percent since 2017, and anxiety affects about 54 percent of older Gen Z members, according to the American Psychological Association

The cause of this increase in mental health issues can be attributed to a number of stressors. According to Pew Research Center, Gen Z is more distressed by climate change, mass shootings, immigration follies, and sexual assault, making their mental health decline. Poor stress management and social media use also face blame for negative mental health.

“We can be harder on ourselves than necessary about all sorts of stuff,” said sophomore Cailyn Cooper.

No matter how many critics of Gen Z exist, it is certainly impossible to deny that this generation possesses a plethora of unique qualities not seen in older generations.