If you were born anytime between the early 90’s and early 2000’s, you fall into the category of individuals born after Millennials called Generation Z. I’m kind of in between both generations along with many other current college students..but if you’re a rising freshman, you’re definitely considered a part of Generation Z. There are pros and cons attached to this label. A lot of people think you are glued to your cell phone, can’t function without wi-fi, and lack basic interpersonal communication skills. Others believe your global awareness as it relates to war, recent natural disasters, 9/11, and seeing the first black president elected will encourage you to improve society. I think there is a lot of truth in the assumptions of Generation Z, and I think there are ways to showcase our generation’s involvement with technology as being productive rather than over-stimulating. Here are some recommendations I believe will help you and others realize life isn’t solely lived on the internet within mobile applications:
1. Make more eye contact when having a conversation. Our necks need a break from looking down at our phone. Also it’s difficult to thoughtfully listen to someone while reading your Newsfeed.
2. Make a telephone call and practice phone etiquette. Phone calls aren’t dead yet and we could all call grandma more often. This type of communication will help tremendously when interviewing and networking for future jobs.
3. Spend one hour outside with no internet. Walks, hiking, biking..sky’s the limit. Our habits can be unhealthy—try to include some outdoor activity resisting the urge to ‘keep up’ with what’s going on online.
4. Be smart with what you say on the internet. Your comments and opinions can follow you forever. You wouldn’t want anything that could ruin your reputation or career published for anyone to see. Also “private” is never really private.
Of course I believe there are so many great and wonderful things about the internet and the digital age we live in, but it’s important to remember that we are humans interacting in a physical world as well. We’ll still be learning with, growing with, and working with people from different generations. Let’s put Generation Z in a good light.
(comic by Randy Glasbergen)