The phrase "How dare you?" took the internet by storm in the year 2019.
The famous line was first used by famous Gen-Z climate activist, Greta Thunberg, during her UN speech questioning the world leaders on their inaction towards the various climatic changes. Since then, it has popularly been part of the meme culture of Gen-Z.
Gen-Z's beliefs and practices have been constantly part of the discussion for panels and also for researchers.
One of the most common areas of discussion from this generation is the future of their relationships.
Many newspapers and media outlets have termed this generation as "hook-up generation" while others have really contrasting views as they term this generation as "sexually devoid".
The opinions are varied and there's no single research that can generalize the opinions of all the individuals from this generation.
Who belongs to Gen-Z?
Those individuals who were born between 1996 to 2010 are usually referred to as belonging to Gen-Z.
Gen-Z proudly claims to be the first entirely digital generation.
Gen-Z is also known to have achieved a lot in their younger years due to easy access to technology which makes education more accessible and affordable (Yeet! YouTube is still free).
In order to get a piece of more in-depth knowledge about this generation, we, at ayeyouth, decided to pick up individuals from Gen-Z and Gen-Y to react to how Gen-Z is being portrayed on the media.
"According to what I've observed, people who have chased hookup culture always got it, no matter the generation and at any point of time in past history", reacted Toni (name changed), Gen-Z.
"I see even now, Islamic countries like Indonesia, where women have to dress fully, still indulge in hookup culture. It is also more frequent there than other non-Islamic countries because sex is natural human tendency and outsiders may view them as highly conservative but inside the story is same", he continued.
He concluded by stating, "Like my older cousins, who were in a more conservative gen than us, still got to do what they wanted and enjoyed it till they were done with it."
"I feel in India it will still be very less. As ppl are not getting employed easily, so they will more or less be more stressed. Without stable income ppl can’t be happy in relationships." replied Jimmy, a millennial.
Another Gen-Z, River, replied, "I partially agree because yes, it is likely a hookup generation because of how open and liberal people are getting slowly. And also no, because there is still a good percentage of 'sanskar' (discipline) in the population like they call it."
Gen-Z like any other generation has been subjected to prejudices and has been thrown upon with certain expectations as they are to be the future leaders.
The eyes are all upon this generation.
What are the problems faced by Gen-Z?
There is a common misconception that goes around when we talk about Gen-Z as they are often referred to as the generation who got it 'easy'.
While it may be true in the case of various technological advances and education but with every new generation there arises a new set of problems.
"But, we haven't had it easier than any other generation, we're facing new problems every day".
As Gen-Z is getting busier to make that six-figure earning (Current trend made popular by various influencers on social media) at a really young age, Mental Health still remains one of the most neglected issues.
Gen-Z is worried about their future as drastic climate changes are challenging the various practices of humankind.
The news on the melting of icebergs and rising sea levels are matters of concern and various climate activists have come forward to address the issue. Environmental summits have become a yearly affair with countries working together to promote sustainable development.
But the question arises,
How can development and environmental protection go hand in hand? What solution will the leaders come up with to maximize the development at the same time reducing environmental degradation?
Technology is a two-sided sword.
On one hand, it has made life easier for everyone but on the other hand, it has also destroyed the future of many.
'FOMO' (click here to read), loosely defined as Fear Of Missing Out is an important phenomenon seen amongst Gen-Z.
Gen-Z is in the continuous lookout for trends on the internet and no matter how irrelevant one trend is to someone's personality, they still want to try it out in order to match up with their peers.
For example: "In my feelings Dance Challenge", known to have started with comedian Shiggy as he posted himself dancing on the street, soon turned out to be a viral dance challenge on the internet, with participants dancing to the moving car.
What started as a fun trend, soon turned out to be deadly as many individuals lost their lives as they took the dance to the street and were crushed to death by moving cars.
The cost of various everyday items and standard of living has increased but the income of the working professionals hasn't seen that margin of increase on the same level.
Gender biased wage inequality still persists.
Racial discrimination is still evident in almost all countries.
From May 2020, a movement against racial injustices erupted worldwide to protest against the death of George Floyd.
The movement soon gained momentum as people demanded justice for other Black families who have lost their loved ones unjustifiably against police brutality. Gen-Z took an active part in the movement.
Are world leaders listening to Gen-Z?
With US elections around the corner, Gen-Z has a lot to say. But, are the leaders listening to them?
Gen-Z forms one of the largest demographics in the US. Hence, it is no surprise that their opinions matter.
In a news report, The Standford Daily hilariously reported that the US President Donald Trump must have been considering the ban on TikTok due to the hate messages and trolls that he has been receiving from Gen-Z for quite some time now over social media.
In one of the speeches, the PM of India, Narendra Modi acknowledged today's youth's capabilities as he went on to address the youth as talented and achievers. He also referred to them as someone who loves the system.
With the fast pacing lives of Gen-Z, almost all industries are bound to have certain changes taking into account the changing times.
Gen-Z has been continuously taking leadership to bring changes in society.
Some of the commonly known Gen-Z activists are Malala Yousafzai, who works closely towards educating girl child, she became the youngest recipient of Nobel Peace Prize; Greta Thunberg, climate activist; Nadya Okamotoa, the founder of PERIOD, it is a non-profit which provide various supplies related to periods to those in need; Joshua Wong, a well-known face of pro-democracy activism in Hong Kong.
Gen-Z is willing to make an impact on society. They have been successful in bringing changes in society by sharing their opinions and acting on them.
Gen-Z is hopeful and we can gladly say that our future is on safe hands. So, "Let's get this bread". (It has nothing to do with bread.)
Are you a Gen Z? What are your opinions? Share with us in the comments section below.