Generation Z: Living in FOMO

July 2015

“Generation Z” (those born after 1995 Aged 13 to 20) are independent, stubborn, pragmatic always in a rush and unaware of a world without Internet.

They are so hooked into the digital world that some academics have nicknamed them “the mutants”.

Here are some habits of Generation Z:

In their daily life’s they want everything, everywhere and immediately. They surf on two screens simultaneously. They pay top price for the latest smart phone but can’t see the point at paying for a film or a song when you can get that for free online.

They get all the latest trends from social media and find the morals of their elders out of date.

When they speak, their vocabulary is peppered with acronyms, incomprehensible to those not in the know. “Swag” is the new “cool”.

Their new idols are Internet stars, like PewDiePie, who has the world’s most subscribed YouTube channel.

With their friends they find it easier to talk online than in person. Their friends on social media are as important to them as their friends in real life. More than eight out of 10 are hooked on social networks and more than half of them think that this is where their real social life takes place.

They’ve seen it all, even as young as they are, they have already seen so many technologies become obsolete. For this reason, they have become the ultimate “self-educators“, learning how to use new stuff via self-help videos on YouTube.

Studies suggest they spend more than three hours a day in front of a screen. They live in constant “FOMO”, fear of missing out.

Facebook is their main poison, Photos on Instagram, quick messages on Snapchat. Twitter and Tumblr are a constant present. They’re also putting themselves out there on YouTube or “Vlogging” (video blogging), hoping to become the next big online star.

They think that everything is possible with technology. But, they have a short attention span and tend to skim- read rather than read properly, which can lead to difficulty at school.

At work this is a generation that wants to create their own company - between 50 percent and 72 percent want to run their own start-up.

They believe success comes from their “network” rather than from qualifications and they prefer a flat organisation to a hierarchy at work. They want to succeed and achieve, with 76 percent aiming to make their hobby their job.

These are children of the crisis and it shows in their outlook. Most of them say they are “stressed out” by what they see as a bleak future, especially in terms of economy and environment.

Given the same pay, 25 percent of the Generation Z in France would choose the most “fun” company, 22 percent the most innovative and 21 percent the most ethical.

But like any idealistic generation, they want to change the world and love the idea of volunteer work, which a quarter of Americans in their late teens are already doing.