Sunday, June 21, 2009

News Report: Generation Z


On Thursday, the Sydney Morning Herald wrote an article about Generation Z and the characteristics and behaviour associated with this age group.

I can hear many readers saying, “There’s a generation Z? Aren’t they still at school?”

To answer the question, yes. Generation Z’s (or Zeds) are people born between 1992-2005. Online virtual world site, Habbo did a global study of around 112,000 people aged between 13-17 years of age. Their conclusion? Zeds are less inclined to travel the world, aren’t attracted to fame and fortune like their Generation Y counterparts are more family-orientated.

This is shown through Zeds consumption habits – Adidas, Nokia and Nike for instance, aren’t rated well with this generation as sales are going down. While brands such as Jay Jays and Sony Ericsson are on the rise.

I find faults in this study. First of all, we’re in this thing called the RECESSION. Zeds at the moment aren’t financially independent – they rely on their parents to support and take care of them. Parents of Zeds are tightening their wallets to purchase necessities such as food and paying off their mortgages, electricity and phone bills. Buying branded clothes such as Billabong is going to be a luxury - while Jay Jays offers casual and trendy clothes at a reasonable price. No wonder why Jay Jays’ sales are rising at the moment.

Another fault is that the survey was only done by members of Habbo. Usually, this will mean users of the website will share similar interests, beliefs and values. This doesn’t reflect on the 13-17 year age group overall.

The idea of grouping people into different generations is absurd. Personally, putting people into groups just makes commentators (or whingers) easier for them to classify an individual’s characteristics because of their generation, and not because it is a flaw in their personality. Here’s a conversation I’d heard in the workplace once:

“Ohh Bob* hasn’t even moved out of home yet! No wonder why he can’t do things by himself!”
“He’s a Generation Y – they expect everything to fall into their lap”.

Did it ever occur to them that Bob* wants to move out of home? The only problem is money. As a Gen Y myself, I want to move out of my parents home and live my own life. Hell, my parents want me out of their place as soon as I graduate from uni (affectionately of course). However, being a full-time uni student and working at a fast food joint for extra moolah isn’t going to be enough for me to survive in the big, bad world.

I think what people forget when they generalise people into different groups is that generation Y, like every other generation is shaped by the events, developments, leaders and trends at the time. For generation Y, we heavily rely on instant communication technologies such as email, instant text messaging, IM, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to communicate with our fellow peers. So of course, our generation would be more susceptible to the need of instant communication.

Though, there are some things that never change. Peer pressure, the need of security – whether personal, professional or financial, fighting for injustice and developing our individuality is something that all generations will experience regardless of the technological development.

1 comments:

Corrine/Frock And Roll said...

Great article - I couldn't agree more!

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