As the focus shifts from Millennials to Generation Z, we begin to see the stereotypes and biases for our generation form. While some are perfect in depicting our technologically-savvy group of individuals, many stray a little far from the truth. As a Gen Z-er myself, I’ve selected a few “facts,” or more accurately — misconceptions about my generation that I would like to dive into a little further.
Myth #1: We prefer digital communication to avoid face-to-face interaction.
While I do agree that this generation is consumed with handheld technology, it is not for the sole purpose of avoiding human interaction. Gen Z thrives on human interaction, while also enjoying the benefits of being able to keep up with their friends and loved ones online. Studies show that we live more for the experience than just for the item. For example, lawn seats at concerts are selling out faster than regular seats and music festivals are taking over the world. These all encourage networking/socializing and allow more personal time with friends.
Myth #2: We are too young to make a difference.
While the years aren’t set in stone, Gen Z is roughly mid-1990s to mid-2000s leaving the oldest currently around 21 or 22. This is the age that’s entering the workforce and becoming young professionals. As young professionals, we should be the target of your searches and teachings. We’re known for our eagerness to make an impact and to absorb new information. We don’t focus solely on our own dreams, rather, we focus on what impact we can make on the world. Take advantage of that and provide us with the information we need to know to lead the future (or your association’s future). I would not deem “team player” and “selflessness” as bad qualities…
Myth #3: We are hard to entertain because of our short attention spans.
You can look up Gen Z on Google and “8-second attention span” pops up right away. I won’t say this statistic is incorrect. We do have short attention spans, but this is because we spend more time prioritizing. As I mentioned before, our focus is on making an impact in our lifetime and living through experiences. We devote our time to things of importance, which may require more time and research on the association management side (into finding out what our true interests are), but if you can do that, your association will be golden.
Want more tips for recruiting and engaging young professionals at your association? Check out our free guide Recruiting Young Professionals for the Long Haul for more insights on this upcoming generation!