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They say that you shouldn’t necessarily be afraid of the people with more elevated positions than you, but who’s coming up behind you and hungry for your job. Well kids, that day is fast approaching, as the vapidly titled ‘Generation Z’ is on our heels and apparently smarter and a lot less apathetic than us.
“Well who the hell is Generation Z?” you might ask. “It sounds like some sort of team of super villains or Lex Luthor-type shit.” Well unfortunately, they kind of are.
“Gen Z are loosely defined as those born after 1995 and who are now 18 and under. It’s a big group: two billion worldwide, and one-quarter of the North American population… Research, though still in beta, points to the emergence of a stellar generation: educated, industrious, collaborative and eager to build a better planet.”
Cue eye roll and gagging noises.
As the first generation that grew up in a post 9/11 disillusioned and darkly realistic world, 60% of Gen Z’ers want jobs that have a social impact, compared to the 31% of Gen Y’ers. Conversely, 72% of Gen Z want to be entrepreneurs, 26% already volunteer and 56% say they’re savers as opposed to spenders. Well, congrats on not blowing your babysitting money on Panda Express at the mall food court, you little schmucks.
What’s more, “They are the most connected, educated and sophisticated generation in history. They don’t just represent the future, they are creating it.” Says social researcher Mark McCrindle, of Sydney-based McCrindle Research.
In a way, this makes sense. Millennials (born between 1980 and mid or late 90s) are often construed as lazy, apathetic, overentitled and narcissistic. Simply put, we are the “selfie” generation, told we could be anything we set our minds to. Until the rude awakening that was the economy and job market crumbling before our Warby Parker eyeglass-bedecked eyes — and we graduated into this mess.
These kids had the benefit of watching it all happen. They knew shit hit the fan and are preparing themselves like a little army of know-it-alls, armed with iPads, listening to TEDTalk podcasts for homework and never having to know the hardships that was throwing remote controls at the TV when “the new thingy won’t work,” like the pilgrims before us.
As someone who hears the word “entrepreneur” and “blogger” simultaneously on an every day basis, I can’t help but wonder what their perception of owning a “business” is. And yes, they should be more adept at technology and multi-tasking, because who wouldn’t be – growing up in an age when you’re simultaneously updating your vaguely racist twitter, tumblr, Facebook to people all across the world.
So yes, they should be smarter. They should be quicker. They should be better. Cool. Fix our economy. Help the environment. Become the person I aspired to be until the cruel reality that is Manhattan rent set in. Simply put it’s easy to be idealistic when you’re 18 and below. Yet, who knows what will happen when they’re in our shoes and paying off student loans.
Good luck you lil’ bastards, and in the meantime I hope you enjoy getting my coffee at your unpaid internship.