Greetings! I am the Undercover Millennial and my mission here is to delve into the mind and habits of Generation Z. For background, I am currently earning my Masters in Strategic Communication and the class I am currently in is beating into us the need to understand the Gen Z target market. We are doing research and generating a lot of beneficial discussion in class but my mission is to take it even further and attempt to learn to think like a Gen Z.
To those who are unfamiliar with these terms, Generation Y, or Millennials, are the current college and young professional generation- approx. ages 21-35. We are the “follow your dreams at any cost” generation, the last generation to grow up without the internet and the first generation to master it. We are the pioneers of technological innovation but we are not native to it. We remember the way the world used to be. We are often called entitled, because we were born into a world of plenty and opportunity, optimistically looking forward to growing up, and now we are faced with a trashed economy, crippling debt, and unemployment. We are paying on social services we will likely never receive. We feel like we received the short end of the stick and someone owes us.
Generation Z are our younger siblings, ages 5 to 20. They grew up in the midst of recession, wars, and unemployment, but also the fastest growth of technology ever seen. They do not know what it is like to not have the internet. Let that sink in. They eat, sleep, and breath technology because that is what they know. They are called the first generation of digital natives. They filter through and consume so much information in a single day, it is strange even to Millennials, and unfathomable to the Baby Boomers. They are pragmatic, aspiring entrepreneurs, socially conscious, accepting, and incredibly frugal. Naturally this drastically has changed and is continuing to change the way that businesses interact with this upcoming workforce. Understanding Gen Z is critical for business survival.
For this experiment, I will be making tangible changes to my lifestyle and technology use to behave more like a Gen Y, such as doing more of my communication on the phone and less on the computer, and increased use of Gen Y favorite apps, Snapchat and Instagram. I will be downloading and using new apps that I have ignored in the past, like Whisper, Vine, Periscope, and Duo. And I will hopefully be posting some hypothetical marketing campaign materials for Gen Y.
I say this is the longest post I hope to write because traditional blogging, surprise surprise, is not really a Gen Z thing. If my future posts are long, I have failed my mission.