Source: Security Sales & Integration
*during a conversation*
Mom: Can you keep your phone aside and look at me while I’m talking?
Kid: Mom, I’m listening! I can zone out even when I’m looking at you. Multi-tasking helps me to absorb the content of the conversation better. I may not look at you but you have my full attention!
Mom: You’re online 24*7, yet you can’t spare ten minutes to talk to your aunt over the phone?
Kid: Mom, I’ve texted her already! I’ll get back to her as soon as she replies!
Mom: Why can’t you just call? Texting has ruined your interaction skills!
Kid: At the end of the day, what matters is the interaction and not the mode of it. Heart-to-heart conversations can happen via texts too, not everyone is comfortable speaking on calls!
Dad: Practice waking up early in the morning so that you can study with a refreshed mind like we did in our early years! Morning study sessions are always more effective!
Kid: Each of us has our most productive time of the day when we have the most energy. Some people are morning people, who wake up with lots of energy. Others are night owls and have more energy in the evening hours. Just like each student has a unique learning style, different students may learn better at different times of the day. I can concentrate better at night, hence my learning is more effective at that hour.
Parents: You are glued to your phone ALL DAY! This generation is obsessed with social media!
Kid: True. Our generation is largely using social media to handle complex issues, support activism and do our own part for the greater good. It helps people to spread awareness, educate their followers and to share petitions to bring a change in society.
The go-to threat of all parents (also the most effective one) :
“Wait and watch! I’ll terminate the wifi service from next month.”
Kid : *rushes to get all the work done*
Sounds familiar, right? These are snippets of some conversations that we are a part of, almost regularly and most of them end with the classic remark, “Kids these days!”
There’s no denying that our generation is often misunderstood by our elders. Well, I can’t speak on behalf of the entire Generation Z, but I can certainly help in clearing out a few misconceptions that have gained the limelight over the years. Apart from being the generation that loves to clear your confusions regarding the various features on social media platforms and helps you to get the perfect selfie angle, we are also a generation that has much more to offer to the world.
Here are some facts that can help our elders to understand us better :
- We are a generation that cares. We believe in bringing meaningful change to our society. We are more vocal about important issues like animal welfare, environment protection, climate change, feminism, racial equality, same-sex marriage, LGBTQ representation, digital etiquette and most importantly, ‘compassion’.
- We are more open to talking about our mental health. We do not shy away from seeking therapy when mental health problems arise. Seeking help for mental health is viewed as a strength rather than a weakness.
- We are more active on social media as it gives a voice to our opinions. We want our opinions to be heard as well as shared.
- We might not have any concrete answers to why we prefer keeping our phones on silent mode but we love to talk about our favourite YouTubers and content creators, the meme pages on Instagram and the shows we binge watch on Netflix! *winks*
- We are a bunch of self-aware and self-directed people. We understand the relationship between short term actions and long term consequences. I know you are tired of the eye rolls that come your way when you try to advise your children about something. Not all of us have the calibre to pull off a smooth yet insightful monologue like Shah Rukh Khan, (*winks*) try giving them an opportunity to speak in between, that will help you to get a better perception of their minds! Share your experiences in the most interesting way possible.
- We highly encourage discussions on taboo topics, which reminds me of ‘Sex’ – the most dreaded topic of conversation between Indian kids and their parents. We understand that you are concerned about our online safety, talk to us about sexting without making the conversation awkward. Try talking to us like a friend. This will also enable us to share our problems with you. Once the conversation gets awkward, we tend to divert the topic instead of engaging further. *virtual high-five to all my Gen Z readers*
- We respect personal boundaries and do not judge people for the choices they make. We expect the same from our elders when it comes to the choices we make in our lives. We are a generation that chooses to look beyond the stereotypes.
- Lastly, when we share our problems, try listening to us patiently. At times, that’s all we ask for.
“In an era of fake news, and the filter bubble, [Gen Z is] also more likely to be able to push through the noise. . . Not only are they able to consume more information than any group before, but they have also become accustomed to cutting through it. They are perhaps the most brand-critical, bullshit-repellent, questioning group around and will call out any behaviour they dislike on social media. (Little wonder brands are quaking in their boots.)”
– Lucie Greene