The Disturbing Trends of Generation Z

As young Americans become politically aware, they’re taking the habits developed through social media and online “group think” and transforming it into a proud yet misguided sense of community.

Temporarily labeled “Generation Z” as it naturally follows “X” and “Y” the trends that are being recognized by this group of young Americans may land them with the letter “G” for Government.

Aside from the handouts and subsidies this generation is receiving and will receive, from healthcare to free community college, these youths are being groomed to expect their problems and preferences to be solved through the force of government.

In Aliso Viejo, California last week, High School students organized a petition drive and protests against the approval of a beer and wine license at a local movie theater.

Their concerns ranged from public intoxication to bathroom safety with “adults who had been drinking.”

As the town’s mayor stated, the comments were “all based on emotion with no facts.” He also pointed out that the local Chucky Cheese franchise serves beer.

But that didn’t stop the City Council from voting to deny the license from Regal Entertainment Group.

After the vote, one High School junior exclaimed on Facebook, “We won the case! No alcohol in our theater!”

Whether teens actually cared about this issue or were simply taking their online “hive” mentality and flexing their scrawny (for now) political muscles on a minor issue is unclear.

What should be disturbing to readers is that they proudly used their organizing skills to deny liberty to others – rather than grasp liberty for themselves.

The teens would not have been denied any freedoms or access if Regal’s license had been approved – they just didn’t like the idea.

That story gives you a hint of personalities that are developing for America’s newly emerging generation.

Marketers, in attempts to capture their allowance money, have been studying this group of under-18 year-olds for years.

Their findings paint a clearer picture:

  • 25% of this generation has been in a physical fight, down from 42% with Generation X.
  • 30% of High School Students are extending their graduation date.
  • 61% want to be entrepreneurs.
  • 38% say they will invent something that “changes the world.”
  • 16.9% work at least one hour per week.
  • 52% use YouTube or Facebook for research for school assignments.
  • 8 Seconds – their attention span. That’s down from 12 seconds in 2000.
  • 11% have already been diagnosed with ADHD, a 41% increase.
  • 68% of teachers complain that this generation is too reliant on digital devices, leading to shortcuts and lack of effort.
  • 41% spend more than three hours a day on their computer for non-school work.
  • 66% list gaming as their top source of entertainment.
  • 18.4% are obese.

The main takeaways for marketers are this is a “foodie” generation that is less interested in sex, more obese and sedentary, yet self-confident and unusually happy.

Another study showed high financial anxiety which would account for the 30% who intentionally extend their High School education out of fear of entering the job market.

The numbers above could represent a recipe for a personality type called Passive Authoritarian or Authoritarian Followers.

(Low information + happy and trusting) x highly connected = easily influenced by Authoritarians.

This happy and hopeful generation avoids conflict with a contradictory high intent to be the “boss” and change the world . . . while taking academic shortcuts and avoiding actual work.

While this generation may be the most cheerful and pleasant America has seen, they also represent a dream-come-true for any tyrant lurking in the shadows.

As the video above shows, one teen in skinny jeans organized 1,500 other teens to restrict the liberty of adults based on no facts or true cause.

Imagine what Lenin, Trotsky or Mao would do with the power given to them by Generation G . . .

Morgan is a freelance writer for a variety of publications covering popular culture, societal behavior and the political influences of each.