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Gen Z’s Social Media Doesn’t Leave a “Paper Trail”

Jason Dorsey explains why Gen Z is flocking to certain social media outlets, and fleeing others.

It’s no surprise that Generation Z, America’s youngest generation, already has certain opinions and habits when it comes to social media. After all, they are the first generation that truly grew up with smartphone technology. Their parents – mostly comprised of Gen X and older Millennials – are also very entrenched in technology, likely posting pictures of their kids from the moment they were born.


Jason Dorsey, President and Co-Founder at The Center of Generational Kinetics, talked with CBS News about how Gen Z favors more personal, immediate social platforms like Snapchat rather than broadcasting their lives widely and publicly on Facebook and Twitter.

Why this phenomenon? For Gen Z, whose members grew up in an era of high-speed Internet where sharing personal details on social media was the norm, social technology is embedded deeply within all aspects of life and as this group comes of age, they’re remaking it in their image.

In the CBS News article, Dorsey said that technology has become a key marker of a given generation’s identity. For instance, Baby Boomers prefer face-to-face communication and Generation X likes talking on the phone (or at least email), while Millennials like to text and head to social media networks. Meanwhile, Gen Z prefers messaging apps that “don’t leave a paper trail,” where communications are sent and then are quickly gone, as users move on to the next stream of communication.

“Our research found that you understand your default generational behaviors, but you can look at how other generations naturally communicate and put yourself in the shoes of the other generation you’re trying to communicate with,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey also said that this generation is “more connected than ever before to remote parts of the world around them.” Of course, he added, being “more connected does not necessarily mean better informed.”

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