Key Differences Between Millennials and Generation Z
Since the recession that led into World War II, one previous generation and each subsequent generation after has been given a special name.
If you were born between 1980 and 1994, you fall into the Millennials or Generation Y. Anyone born between the years 1995 to the present day is part of Generation Z.
There are many things that separate Millennials and Generation Z. Here are a couple of the key differences between the two:
1. Less Focused
One of the biggest key differences between Gen Y and Z is the level of distraction. If you grew up as a millennial like myself, then you saw what it was like before technology developed to its current level. We benefited from seeing both the advantages and disadvantages of each that developed.
Generation Z grew up with technology constantly in arm’s reach. It is now pretty common in the United States, at least, to see the little hands of generation z’s children tapping away at phone or tablet screens.
Although Gen Z processes information faster thanks to apps like Snapchat and Instagram, their face-to-face interaction is often lacking thanks to the constantly updating features. Have you ever had a conversation with a Gen Z’er who could manage to keep your gaze without touching a phone? It’s rare, isn’t it?
Generation Z’s ‘lack of attention’ may have an unintended benefit. Having grown up in a generation of constant social and technological change, their adaptability is at a higher level than their predecessors.
They can have a conversation with someone over Skype while researching a joint paper on separate phones or tablets. Generation Z has an uncanny ability to switch tasks on the fly without losing steam throughout their workflow.
That being said, a few Gen Z employees might make the most inefficient office exceed expectations.
It ‘pays’ to be savvy with the money you earn from working or selling knick-knacks. Between Millennials and Generation Z, it’s Millennials who happen to be more money conscious. Many attribute this money management with having grown up during the last recession. According to research, about 59% of Generation Z looks at ads before a purchase, compared to Millennials, 79% of which watch ads before making any purchase.
4. Gen Z Expects a Lot
When it comes to simply expecting things, Generations Z has Millennials beat. Because they grew up in such a rapidly changing environment, every luxury that came into existence is assumed to be a given.
Executive of Ernst & Young, Marcie Merriman says, “When it doesn’t get there that fast they think something is wrong. They expect businesses, brands, and retailers to be loyal to them. If they don’t feel appreciated, they’re going to move on. It’s not about them being loyal to the business.
As a child of Generation Y, I remember having to do chores at home before I was allowed to play with friends, something we were glad to do. These days, Generation Z’s day of yard work is considered more punishment than the contribution by them.
5. Gen Z’s About Individuality
Growing up in Generation Y, we saw trends develop across a multitude of countries. Children all wanted to be part of clubs that did this or teams that played that, essentially following the herd.
Because Gen Z was born in an environment where social interaction is a constant, they are big on expressing individuality. This is often attributed to the brands promoted by celebrities on social media apps like Twitter or Instagram.
Gen Z’s kids often express their individuality in many ways, from the name brands they choose to dress into the jobs they get in the future.
6. Z’s More Global
Thanks to the advent of the internet, Millennials were the first ‘global’ generation. Because of the now hundreds of ways to interact across the world, they both think and interact with a global mindset.
They way that Z connects with each other may be a blessing in disguise, as it had led to many countries of the world addressing their own social and economic issues.
7. Gen Z is More Entrepreneurial
As part of Generation Y, we saw the dismantling and figurative death of many companies expected to last for years. This being part of our history is what keeps many Millennials from trying to start their own business.
Marketing strategist Deep Patel believes that our technology has resulted in an entire generation having the mindset of an entrepreneur.