Having spent time with my nieces and nephews over the last few days has made me realise that I am getting old! I have always said that I feel so young, I feel like I left high school just the other day, I certainly don’t think I LOOK old but observing and engaging with Generation Z this week, has made me realise that I am not as young as I think I am!
I completely believe that “you are only as old as you feel”, “that age is nothing but a number” and all those other well worn clichés that old people use to make themselves feel better, but the truth of the matter is that my age shows when I am around people who are younger than I am!
Now this is not a cause for concern for me, it was merely an observation. I am in no way depressed that my youthful days are behind me. But I really was taken aback at how different things are for young people these days.
Besides the lingo they use, their ideas and ideals and the way they express themselves totally blows my mind. I remember being that age and feeling the same way – like the world was my oyster and no one could hold me back, but Generation Z just seem so much more mature than I was at that age? They are so focused on their futures, they are making way more money that I was at that age (and some are making money in ingenious and resourceful ways, not just from regular 9-5’s – my nephew is a back up dancer for some big acts!) and they are so focused on using their money to empower themselves and others, rather than going to buy CDs (or this generation’s equivalent) and blowing it on a weekend of partying. YES, I did a lot of that in my earlier 20s!
With everything negative that gets said about Generation Z, with the alarming statistics about teen pregnancies, teen suicides, homicides and teen on teen violence, I think we need to also focus on the good that is coming out of this generation. Maybe it’s because they are “digital age” babies – they actually don’t know the world prior to the great World Wide Web and we can’t deny the huge advantage (when used correctly) that the interwebs have on young growing minds. Whatever it is, there is no doubt that this generation will raise some special kids who are going to SHINE, who are already contributing to saving our economy and the greater society.
My nephews and nieces are amazing, it is fantastic to engage with this generation who are so magnetic in their enthusiasm for the Greater Good. I don’t feel too bad about getting old, I think the future is in good hands 🙂
“They are your sons and daughters. They populate your neighborhoods, their thumbs spastically banging out two-way conversations composed entirely of over-punctuated and under-constructed sentences. They may even work for you. Eventually, you will work for them.This is Generation Z, and they have never known a world without the Internet, cell phones or iPods. But they’re also coming up in a world shaped by 9/11, Columbine and the War on Terror. They have a sense of social justice, philanthropy and maturity that comes with growing up during one of the most severe economic recessions in history.
For their entire lives, they’ve heard about the dangers of global warming, been subjected to terror alerts of varying colors and watched their parents weather the recent economic crisis. As a result, they’re growing up fast and developing sensitivities beyond their years. For example, in a study conducted by Harris Interactive, 30 percent of students stated that the financial stability of their families is a concern
They see themselves as the solution to these problems and, as a result, are more likely to pursue careers they think will help society. And because of their ubiquitous use of social networking, they’re quick to jump in and help when their circle of contacts alerts them to a need. This use of mobile technology makes them more available and being solicited by friends is more likely to interest them
They’re going to be smart — smarter even than previous generations, argue some. Their ability to process massive amounts of information quickly is actually preparing them to perform more mentally demanding jobs. In effect, an entire generation is training itself to handle more complicated tasks
So take heart. While they may seem like self-centered prima donnas now, there is reason to believe that today’s kids will have both the intelligence and sense of social responsibility to contribute in ways that will outlast their ridiculous haircuts.”