You’ve heard of Generation X, Generation Y, and the Baby Boomer Generation. But, the newest generation is Generation Z. This is the group of people who came after Millennials, and who have birth dates between the late-1990s, and the mid-2000s. These are a group that has only ever lived in the Internet-era, and, as such, are generally comfortable with technology and social media.
Members of Generation Z are often much-maligned, unfairly in a lot of cases; they also grew up during the Recession, which has led to a lot of them feeling insecure and uncertain. There’s a lot we think we know about Generation Z, but there’s also a lot we don’t know. Here are a few of the big things that we are unaware of when it comes to the modern generation.
They don’t drive as much
Back in the ‘70s, kids literally couldn’t get their driving licenses quickly enough. Studies show that 90% of teenagers in the 1970s had a driving license by 12th Grade. However, studies show that, by 2014, this number had dropped to just over 70%. This downward trend indicates that perhaps teenagers these days have less desire for the open road and less of a focus on independence. Also, much of it depends on where people are living, and what the public transport links are like.
Dating is less frequent
This one is a little sadder, but it stands to reason, because of the rise in internet dating, as well as apps like Tinder. But surveys show that back in the ‘70s around 85% of young people were going on dates. However, this has dropped to 58% in recent years and looks likely to drop further in the future as well. It’s also the case that relationships in previous generations lasted a lot longer than ones these days, and that is a trend likely to continue.
They rely on their parents more
The signs are clear that Generation Z are much more attached to their parents than previous generations, which might come as a surprise. 17-18-year-olds these days are seen as going out around twice a week, compared with three times a week back in 1976. It’s also the case that many of them are staying at home longer before moving out, though this could be to do with the fact that they are less financially secure. However, studies also show that kids are waiting longer to get their first job, indicating further reliance on their parents.
They spend a LOT of time on their phones
Okay, so this one was pretty much a given, but, you might not know how much time. Studies indicate that the average teen is spending over two and a half hours a day on electronic devices, primarily accessing the internet through smartphones. This is leading to an increase in depression and mental illness. Of course, back in the ‘70s, the internet and cellphones didn’t exist, so we can’t really make comparisons, but there is still a lot to think about with this statistic.
Let’s be honest, each generation has been unique in their own way, and every generation feels theirs was better than the one that comes after. The truth is that there are positives and negatives to every generation, and it’s important to be objective about things. These are a few of the points that you probably didn’t know about Generation Z, and some of them may surprise you.