According to some baby-boom circles, urban legend says that millennials are a group of people who aren’t good at anything, who spend all their money on avocado toast and do practically nothing with their lives.
To some, millennials are a homophobe, an annoyingly conceited group that thinks they know everything about everything and have an inflated sense of self-worth. Those who hold modern lore might say it’s because millennials were raised by late generation Xers and other baby-boomers under the incorrect philosophy of “everyone gets a cup,” whether they deserve it or not.
By proxy, he wouldn’t be too far off to assert that the average American general exhibits many of the same qualities. I generally don’t think any of that reputation is deserved. It is usual that the older generations disagree with what the younger ones do, are concerned with the moral direction of the future, and then make assumptions or grumble about it. All too often, members of Generation Z dismiss complaints as outdated and exhausting, yet I will admit that I often find myself agreeing with a lot of these feelings.
I’d like to point out that in general, Generation Z has some glaring group issues in character. As a Gen Z member, I’ve noticed some social issues and parts of the generational culture that worry me.
Generation Z is just beginning to be an important part of society. Our good half hasn’t even graduated from high school, and the rest are still pretty much in college. So it’s too early to tell in some ways. Any problems one might see so far have few, if any, obvious effects.
However, the first thing I would like to point out about Generation Z is our work ethic. Simply put, it’s less than typical. I suppose students who do not want to do their work or find easy solutions to their work is nothing new, however it has become very easy for us to put in minimal effort and get away with it.
Computers are great tools, and Gen Zers know our way around them better than any other age group. But what is made available to us on the Internet are not necessarily assets that we have created. We borrow knowledge of the systems in front of us. We don’t necessarily find new solutions, we just copy the answers. When it comes to learning, digital literacy is an incredible advantage, but Generation Z is becoming overly dependent on the Internet. It has damaged our drive to solve problems using our ingenuity. If we don’t get something, it’s easier to just look for it than go through the hassle of crunching our brains and thinking about it. We don’t come up with original ideas or do things on our own. Everything we do is collectively aggregated online.
This is not only a problem for Generation Z, as people of all generations resort to using the Internet as a crutch. What worries me is that we don’t learn how to do things in the long term. Something to be said for the exploration process, not just to find what you’re looking for, but to learn along the way. By finding what we are looking for only by searching for it explicitly, we encounter a superficial understanding of something. This is dangerous. Superficial knowledge can easily be misled or confused. Without a deeper understanding, we lack the ability to challenge what we see. For a generation that is constantly absorbing content, this can be a problem.
Culturally, the values of doing a good job – being inclusive and going beyond “good enough” – have not been inculcated in today’s youth as they should be. Simplicity and efficiency are good philosophies, but when it comes to doing something, appreciating the quality of one’s work and taking the time to see something done right is crucial.
We need to value good job, good customer service, and hard work more than we do as a society. From what I’ve seen, the culture that emerges around Generation Z seems very satisfied with something that is done well enough to pass, and that’s not good.