Many marketers and social media experts often focus on millennials, but it’s time that we shifted the focus to Generation Z as they are the ones most hooked on to social networking today, and as a result, they are starting to come out as a much bigger, emerging market. In the book ‘The Gen Z Effect: The Six Forces Shaping The Future Of Business’ by Dan Keldsen, one can study the profound changes in business and society with the emergence of the post-millennial generation, Gen Z.
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While Facebook functions as a cornerstone of social media, innovative platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have become default social platforms for Gen Z. YouTube is still a core destination for 80 percent of the total user base.
Before proceeding further, it is important to understand who all belong to Gen Z and why there is so much talk about their social media enslavement. The members of this generation are born between the mid-1990s and 2010. Although society and, more specifically, parents like to believe otherwise, members of Generation Z make the most of their social media presence and are likely to bring the same spirit to their work culture as well. In fact, since they were born after the evolution of the World Wide Web, they are the first true digital natives. So here’s why social media will not spoil the Generation Z:
One of the biggest advantages of growing up in the digital age is the chance to learn things of which earlier generations had only limited access to. To members of Gen Z, their flexibility and agility are accentuated because of their innovative learning methods. Just think about a young one enlightening his/her parent about a particular app that they were unaware of. This child is already bright, all thanks to the smartphone that he/she is hooked on to for the most part of the day.
By virtue of belonging to a generation that has seen the biggest technological breakthroughs, the Gen Z child’s perception of change is different from that of their seniors. Earlier, in organisations, adaptability to change was one of the biggest concerns for HR managers. However, Gen Z does not resist change. Rather, they are mostly the ones who initiate alternate ways of working to make things easier. Their ability to welcome and adopt parallel ways of doing things helps them function successfully.
They are smart shoppers who know exactly how buying a particular article online will save them money and are fully aware of where to find the best deal. With the plethora of apps that they have access to, they shop smarter than millennials. They compare prices and do an in-depth analysis before making the final purchase. Their frequency of shopping is based on the knowledge that they have acquired through online exposure and awareness. Market surveys have shown how the online shopping segment amongst this generation is at par with the millennials.
Generation Z loves the convenient way of working. These individuals believe in bringing ideas that are ‘out of the box’ to the table, and this is what makes them stand out. These days, even 17 and 18-year-olds are making millions with innovative business ideas and apps, most of which are developed to make lives better. This group of nimble-footed teenagers is completely astonishing. A generation that believes in living the smart way comes up with smart techniques and gets paid even more smartly.
Gen Z uses technology as a means of self-learning. If you happen to go through their laptops and smartphones, you will come across apps like Kindle, fitness trackers and news apps that none of us were even aware of in our teenage years. They become fit by downloading an app that helps them find the best fitness trainers and nutritionists, or they just follow fitness gurus online for health tips. They are self-motivated and know how to leverage technology in a way that helps them get things done.
Technology provides us additional pathways to act on such behavioural tendencies that have always existed in us. We should not feel sorry for teenagers spending time looking at their phones. For all we know, their phones are providing them with a more constructive outlet. Instead of complaining that social media will ruin Generation Z, why not look at the flip side of it? It is making them more enterprising and confident, qualities that our previous generations only achieved in their middle age. Then why do we condemn the use of social media?