Growing up, many millennials had computers and other electronic equipment at their homes. Despite this, it took them some getting used to for them to master the use of computers, gaming consoles, and cellphones.
However, it seems like children from Generation Z can unlock smartphones before their even able to speak.
Generation Z refers to individuals who were born in the mid-2000s. Born into an increasingly digital age, this generation has been using the internet from a very young age, and it has become quite adept at it.
The impact of technology on Generation Z has been a hot topic of discussion among sociologists, scientists, anthropologists, and medical and tech experts. Based on various observations, discussions, and research papers, here are a few ways technology is reshaping Generation Z.
Generation Y has always been branded as “entitled.” However, this label ignores the fact that millennials have to struggle against rising costs of education and living, fewer job opportunities, a crippled and fragile economy, and lower wages compared to baby boomers.
It seems Generation Z is also facing a similar label. Being addicted to social media and cellphones, this generation has come to be known as the always-on generation. However, being addicted to technology is not really a bad thing, and it offers the following benefits.
According to a report published by Adweek, Generation Z individuals (also called gen zers) are aware of their “privilege” and are willing to do something about it. Most of them are eager to learn new skills and educate themselves. Statistics indicate that 33% of gen zers watch lessons over the internet, 20% read e-books, and 32% study with their classmates online.
Increased Commitment to Social Causes
Thanks to social media and other tools, gen zers are now aware of what is happening in their communities as well as global issues. Many children and young adults are now signing up for various social causes such as animal rights protection, women empowerment, and conservationism. A 2017 article in Forbes lists down eleven social causes that are prominent among gen zers.
Better Employment Prospects in the Future
Since they have been born and raised in the age of the internet, gen zers are ultra tech-savvy. They are quick at learning how to operate the latest tools and gadgets. As more and more businesses are investing in IT to streamline their operations, it could create more job opportunities for gen zers in the future.
Access to More Information
With the abundance of information available online, gen zers may end up making better decisions than millennials and baby boomers. Nowadays, kids and young adults have access to smartphones, high-speed internet, and a plethora of search engine tools.
Similarly, the development of technology is likely to create more specialist fields of interest for gen zers, such as social media marketing and search engine optimization.
The advancement in technology has not only made our lives easier, it has also affected our thinking skills and social behaviors.
Spending too much time on the internet is bound to create a few issues for gen zers. As kids and young adults are getting hooked to the internet, the generation becomes susceptible to the following problems.
A September 2017 issue of the Atlantic presented a few disturbing facts. The article reported that today’s teenagers are spending very little time outside of their homes. The percentage of high school students who went on dates dropped from 85% in the 90’s to 56% in 2005. Similarly, the number of teenagers who spend time with their friends on a daily basis dropped by 40% between the years 2000 and 2015.
Limiting outdoor activities and spending more time on social media has been linked to depression and low self-esteem. It is possible that gen zers will be shyer and more socially awkward as compared to millennials and baby boomers.
Lack of Confidence
As self-esteem decreases, gen zers are likely to face confidence issues. While gen zers are fairly confident about their tech skills, they may lack the confidence to ace a job interview, have a pleasant date night, or develop deep, meaningful relationships. The phrase “technology is making us less social” holds quite true for this generation.
Exposure to Inappropriate Material
The online world is often raw and unfiltered. While several organizations and watchdogs are trying to limit the type of information that is easily accessible online, the internet is still full of inappropriate content.
In the absence of any proper regulation, parental control or supervision, gen zers often have easy access to inappropriate material.
In 2017, a survey was carried out among 10,000 consumers in the UK. The study revealed that children are likely to be exposed to several types of sexual and controversial content online.
However, there are a few ways to prevent your child from accessing or viewing such content, like installing a high-quality antivirus with parental control capability or implementing various cyber-security measures.
Risk of Cyberbullying
Cyber-bullying has existed ever since the internet was first introduced to the public. However, the development of social media has exponentially increased the rate of cyber-bullying all over the world.
The types of cyber-bullying can range from sending someone a mean email to leaking an embarrassing photo or video without proper permission.
A 2014 article in the Guardian revealed that up to 35% of individuals in the ages of 11-17 experienced some form of cyber-bullying. The number is expected to increase due to the development of online dating apps such as Tinder.
Technology for Kids: Yay or Nay?
As the tech-savvy gen zers gear up to enter the corporate world, they may find that their technical expertise gives them an edge over others. However, it is important for children and young adults to learn about the dangers of the internet from a young age. Technology is powerful, and it is up to users to make sure that it is used for good rather than bad. The responsibility also lies with the parents.
It’s not just the kids that are changing. Businesses are also becoming smart and streamlined. If you’re looking for high-quality tech tools and innovations to take your business to the next level, call one of our experts today!
by Bobby J Davidson
We love our company and we love what we do. Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business! As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.
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