Generation Z are emerging—and they are already creating waves thanks to cheap mobile technology. Forbes Africa interviewed Jason Dorsey, President and Co-Founder at The Center for Generational Kinetics, to learn more about the Gen Z, the generation after Millennials, and why they are poised to change the world.
How Do We Define Gen Z?
Jason shared that at The Center, we believe generations are often defined by significant historical events.
“It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to be born between 1996 and 2000 and have a strong, emotional connection to 9/11,” explained Jason Dorsey to Forbes Africa. “Your brain is simply too young to put the event in a cultural, geographic, or other context. From our research-based vantage point, if you were born in the US and 9/11 has always been history to you — something you literally cannot remember — then you are not a Millennial but a member of Generation Z.”
Gen Z is The Most Consistent Generation Across the Globe
Gen Z might just be the most global generation ever. Why? Because this generation is growing up in an age of utter connectedness.
The world is at their fingertips—and in their smartphones. In fact, they’ve never known a time without the internet and social media; they are the true digital natives. And it’s this connectedness that makes Gen Z so consistent.
“What we find is that an inexpensive mobile device really does begin to connect people to the world and that internet access changes not just how young people see the world, but how they see themselves in relation to the world. That’s what’s so powerful,” Jason revealed.
“It’s pretty shocking when I go to work in some place like India and to see the similarity [to the United States]. The language may be different, but the interaction and the expectation are very similar. The key to this is they’ve got to be younger but old enough to use some sort of mobile device, or have some sort of a mobile experience.”
Gen Z Values Stability and Predictability
When it comes to money, Gen Z is holding on to it a lot harder than their Millennial predecessors. In fact, our national Gen Z research study shows they are already saving and investing money for retirement.
“[It is a misconception] that Gen Z are big spenders. But the truth is, Gen Z are increasingly savers that are dealing with the aftershocks of the great recession. Many Gen Zers, and this is the quote that they give during our interviews with them, say ‘I don’t want to end up like the millennials’,” Jason shared.
“But because of the recessionary aftershocks, Gen Z really does seek out stability right now. They want predictability. They want to know when they are going to work and how much they are going to be paid when. At this stage they seem more risk-averse,” Jason explained.
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