Generation Z: Digital, visual, global
The students of our world, at schools and universities are the children of Generation X, the cohort that follows Generation Y, and born from 1995 to 2009 they are Generation Z.
Generation Z are the largest generation ever, comprising around 20% of Australia’s population and almost 30% of the world’s population. Globally there are almost 2 billion of them.
They are the first fully global generation, shaped in the 21 st century, connected through digital devices, and engaged through social media.
While all the generations have access to the latest technologies, the way these devices and platforms are utilised is strongly influenced by our times, formative experiences, and current lifestage- in other words, our generation.
The Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are more likely to be digital transactors who use technology in a practical, functional, structural way. The new digital tools are used but the style is more transactional – the productivity and efficiency of the new tools is greatly appreciated and surpasses the previously used old technology. And when updated tools come along, the current technologies will similarly be pushed aside to make way for the latest. However Generation Z are digital integrators in that they have integrated technology seamlessly into their lives, and having used it from the youngest age, it is almost like the air that they breathe, permeating almost all areas of their lifestyle and relationships. Rather than linear, and sequential their style is more social and experiential. The digital integrator doesn’t look for an instruction guide but an intuitive process. The style and the process matter not just the substance and the outcome.
For the digital integrator, technology has blurred the lines of work and social, of study and entertainment, of private and public. Simplicity and flexibility amidst the complexity of busy lives are some of the key benefits that technology brings the digital integrator. They live in an open book environment- just a few clicks away from any information, they connect in a borderless world- across countries and cultures, and they communicate in a post-literate community where texts and tweets are brief, and where visuals and videos get the most cut-through.