1. That’s not their real name. The Z thing is basically a placeholder. As Zers go to work and show what they’re made of, a definitive name will emerge. But for now they (and we) have to put up with an annoying rage of names--IGens, Centennials, Plurals, Globals, 21st ers, Founders, etc. In the long term, put your money on Homelanders or on GenEdge, for a gen born on the edge of change.
2. Born to pinch and swipe. Zs prefer to use 5 screens when multitasking. The upside? They process info quickly. The downside? Wait, I forget. Oh yeah, distractibility.
3. Meet the mini-Makers. When they’re not using Legos or playing Minecraft, these DIYers go to YouTube to find out how bake, build, carve or code. Best birthday party ever? A robotics workshop. Hand me that circuit board, will you? And don’t trip over the 3-D printer on your way out.
4. They clip coupons. The Great Recession made them money-savvy. They worry about the economy, know how much things cost and will buy it on clearance if they can. Short this month? Ask a 12-year-old for a loan.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Gen Z is how much they are like thier great-grandparents, the Silent generation. Gen Z saves money, is resourceful and expects to work hard.
5. Go ahead. Play with fire. Sure, the Free Range movement got bad press, but look past the hype and you’ll find a generation of Gen X parents who allow Z kids to take reasonable risks like camping out or building a tree fort. Note the rise of Adventure playgrounds equipped with old tires and planks. Every kid should know how to throw a spear. In case of Zombies.
And one extra!
5th Grade Foodies. Growing up in an era of celebrity chefs and farmers’ markets has made Zs a pretty sophisticated fast-casual crowd. Trending now: salads, veggie smoothies, Starbucks and anything organic. Trending down: microwaves and preservatives.
There's lots more to know about this new gen. Try the links below!
How will you need to manage Gen Z? READ MORE
Why is Gen Z so much like the Silent Generation? READ MORE
How is Gen Z different from Millennials? READ MORE
This article first appeared in Mental Floss magazine.