Different Generations Millennials Vs. Generation Z
When looking at different generations, many seem to think of the names, traits, or years that support their own generation. Although, in all honesty, who really knows the differences between how other generations, and their own act within society? Two generations that are not too distant from each other in age, but have had various changes within societal views are the Millennials and Generation Z. The Millennials, birth years were those between 1980 and 1985, and Generation Z, the youngest generation currently, has birth years between 1996 and 2010. (Kurtis) One of the changes made within these generations was that of technology. Both generations were surrounded by it, yet the significance of technological impacts within life has increased over the years. (Kurtis) Taking diversity into perspective, the Millennials were a part of the first African-American president being elected. Whereas, the Generation Z’ers had first African-American president being elected turn into a reality. (Kurits) When examining education, there was a major difference between face-to-face lectures and online video lectures. The Millennials preferred having a self-directed learning that provided flexibility, while Generation Z’s number one learning method was using YouTube as a platform. (Pearson) Technology had started to become a major component of lifestyles within the Millennial age, yet Generation Z founded the most effective uses of technology within a daily basis. (Kurtis)
When looking at Millennials and the impact of technology within their lifestyles, technology was most definitely used on various occasions. The technology that they had was that of the Internet and Google, as well as the introduction of Facebook and other forms of social media. (Kurtis) “As the Millennials went through their lives, they started to adapt more and more to social media and the role it played. However, “the internet explosion age” was what the Millennials were known for. (Dimock) Millennials adapted to social media as they aged, but they were primarily known for the internet explosion age.” (Dimock) What Dimock reported precisely pointed out the fact that social media was not of the essence during this generation’s time, and that adjustments needed to have been made. Smartphones also had become a vital component of everyday uses, such as talking, texting, online shopping, or playing games. The fear with these uses are the fact that the Millennials are becoming very attached and reliant on their phones in just about any location, including the workplace. (Kurtis) The phone usage became a real problem when other generations started noticing Millennials as a generation with a short attention span and having a low level of accountability. (Kurtis) Even though being able to search the web was viewed as a “game-changer” for Millennials, it was also becoming very fearful to others how reliant they had become on technology, as well as their technological devices. (Kurtis)
Moving past the Millennial age of technological presence, advancements in social media came into major effect within Generation Z’s time frame. With the iPhone making its launch in 2007, the eldest of Generation Z had just turned 10. By the time these 10-year old’s hit their teenage years, the younger ages were primarily connected through their mobile devices. (Dimock) With iPhone’s having higher-speed and better connection, the uses of mobile devices continued to become more popular. Generation Z was known to be the generation that doesn’t remember a time before social media. (Kurtis) From social media being of the essence, Generation Z’ers were known to value their privacy more than the Millennials did. The connection that technology and social media has brought forth to them has been of high value, yet putting a risk-taking decision into mind makes Z’ers became quite cautious. (Kurtis)
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When looking at Millennials in a diverse setting, they entrusted in individuals of various races and cultural groups starting in their childhood period. (Kurtis) 38% of the Millennial generation as a whole stated that the increased racial and ethnic diversity results in positive effects for the country as a whole. (Parker, Graf, Igielnik) With this statistic, it entirely shows the magnitude of openness to different cultures within Millennials in the social environment. The Millennials also looked at a diverse perspective other than racial, this was that of gender roles in society. Around 50% of the Millennial’s believe that society is not being accepting enough of those who don’t want to solely identify as either a man or a woman. (Parker, Graf, Igielnik) The Millennials also grew up in the beginning stages of views on same sex marriage coming up. With this, only 15% of Millennials saw same sex marriage as a change that would create a negative aspect on society as a whole. (Parker, Graf, Igielnik) Throughout these few diverse topics, the Millennials showed their compassion towards any race, gender, or person in general with the positive feeling that they would change society for the better.
Parker, Graf, and Igielnik came to the conclusion that, “Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation we have seen, but this isn’t all that’s driving the attitudes of this generation when it comes to issues surrounding race and diversity.” Millennials appeared to have high likelihood to include those of various ethnicities, yet Generation Z took a step even further than they had. When Generation Z looked at same sex marriage, they had about half of the generation view this as a plus-side to societal changes. (Parker, Graf, Igielnik) This 11% increase compared to the Millennials showed that the openness to change on this topic in specific was increasing with time. 76% of the women and 57% of the men within Generation Z stated that more women running for office was creating a positive outcome on society. (Parker, Graf, Igielnik) Politics is another topic that can be examined within differences between generations, yet this statstic just showed the empowerment of women’s roles in society for Generation Z’ers. When using pronouns, Z’ers found that gender-neutral pronouns were essential to use when referring to anyone to make sure they are treated equally. (Parker, Graf, Igielnik)
And for the last topic, education, Millennials preferred a more traditional teaching method that includes the online lectures’ flexibility as a support. (Pearson) Although Millennials were viewed to be the “plugged-in” generation, they would still choose to read a textbook in means of learning material. (Pearson) 66% of Millennials believe that college students can utilize technology as a transformation to their learning. (Pearson) When looking at in-class setting, Millennials prefer to work in group settings on participatory levels. Yet, for grading purposes, they want their scores to be on individualized levels. (Levonius) The parents of Millennials were known to be “the over-achievers”, so this made the bar set extremely high for their generation. From all the pressure put on how their scores come out on tests and evaluations, this generation is most definitely achievement oriented. (Levonius)
With education on a Generation Z level, they want a teacher leading their class, yet have YouTube as their leading learning method. (Pearson) The social learning environments that Generation Z’ers interact in made them to be very hands-on throughout a lesson. (Kozinsky) Generation Z actually had 59% view college students using technology as a means to transform their learning process, so this percentile dropped by 7% to the previous generation. (Pearson) The earlier-set focus on career events for Generation Z during their college schooling created an expectation to have on-demand services available to them at all times. (Kozinsky)
All in all, Generation Z and Millennials aren’t too far from each other when looking at age, yet their traits alone have developed into much more technology-based environments. There are a multitude of topics that can be viewed to examine both generational differences and similarities, yet my focus was on just three topics. I first looked into the changes within technology, then diversity, and lastly, education. With technology, I saw a major advance within social media moving from Millennials to Generation Z. Next, with diversity, I noticed that many views were similar between generations, with both having high levels of openness towards diverse individuals. Yet overall, Generation Z was said to be the most diverse generation above all else. And for my third topic, education, I examined the preferred learning methods between generations and how this impacted them. Millennials preferred a more traditional method with online lectures available as a source of help. Whereas Generation Z enjoyed a face-to-face lecture, yet had YouTube as their number one learning method. The Millennials lasting impression on society would include their commitment to learning while retaining relevancy and social value. Generation Z’s impression on society would involve that of social media and technology’s impact on day-to-day activities.
- Dimock, Michael, and Michael Dimock. “Defining Generations: Where Millennials End and Generation Z Begins.” Pew Research Center, Pew Research Center, 17 Jan. 2019, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/.
- Kozinsky, Sieva. “How Generation Z Is Shaping The Change In Education.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 24 July 2017, www.forbes.com/sites/sievakozinsky/2017/07/24/how-generation-z-is-shaping-the-change-in-education/#75243c9c6520.
- Kurtis, Mark. “Critical Analysis.” English 100, Columbia College. Received 5 May 2016. Course handout.
- Levonius, Don. “Generational Differences in the Classroom.” Main, 29 June 2018, www.td.org/newsletters/atd-links/generational-differences-in-the-classroom.
- Parker, Kim, et al. “Generation Z Looks a Lot Like Millennials on Key Social and Political Issues.” Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project, 18 Jan. 2019, www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019/01/17/generation-z-looks-a-lot-like-millennials-on-key-social-and-political-issues/.
- Pearson. “What Do Generation Z and Millennials Expect from Technology in Education? | Pearson Blog.” USA, 5 June 2018, www.pearsoned.com/generation-z-millennials-expect-technology-education/.