GENERATION Z – The Next Wave

This is the first in a series by BPR’s Andy Beaubien.

Recent studies have revealed fascinating and profound insights into the newest generation of media consumers. They are Generation Z and were born between 1995 and 2012. Yes, that is correct – some are as young as 6 and as old as 23 years old. As media consumers they are different from previous generations in significant ways. This is the first generation in which alternative or digital reality is as much a part of their lives as the 3-dimensional world in which we live.

For Generation Z, life revolves around the smartphone.

  • Gen Z is the mobile-first generation that appears to live equally in the digital world as in the real one. Smartphones, the devices of choice, are always close by and within reach. With a phone to keep them connected, Gen Z is full of dichotomies: their device distracts them from boredom and gives them something to do during downtime, yet it saves time by being efficient.

 

The smartphone creates its own environment and Generation Z is fully accustomed to living in that world.

 

  • The smartphone is the social hub of Gen Z, the epicenter of everything. It creates a universe, a virtualized space where they engage, making them smarter, more effective and more connected. They want their connections to work well and quickly. In this space, they are entertained, through activities like music, gaming or texting. Importantly, within their “bubble,” Gen Zers also express themselves to friends through frequently creating and sharing content.

 

What tribes and villages formerly provided – social contact, knowledge, sense of belonging, security and entertainment – is now found in a technological virtual reality.

  • Gen Z is an interesting mix of tech savvy, smart and dependent. They have many interesting ideas for the future of technology, admire the Apple brand, prefer YouTube overall and understand that they live in a post-privacy world. Their phones make them feel secure, and they form rituals and habits related to using their devices more and more. Technology is essentially an indistinguishable part of their identity and intertwined in their daily life. It gives them comfort, purpose and focus.

 

In the next instalment we will further explore the world of Generation Z and how they are about further change our media world.

 

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