@ the haters: “kids these days” will change the world

February 12, 2019 — by Anishi Patel

Dear #haters,

I’m a member of Generation Z, the demographic cohort following Millennials, or Generation Y. As of now, we are the most ethnically diverse, digitally skilled and information-sensitive age group in the United States. We also seem to be the most ridiculed.

Not one of us can go a week without hearing about how things were “so much harder” back in the days when the internet and smartphones didn’t exist or about how dependent we are on social media. It’s a defining characteristic of this generation, to be accustomed to nodding along while someone four decades older lectures us about the indolence the world is so sure we embody.

It’s easy to call us “attention-seeking” or “dramatic” when we express our frustrations with the systems around us, namely student loan debt and the affordability of, well, everything.

It’s also easy to gloss over the fact that GenZ is more technologically apt and information-sensitive than any group before it, in favor of saying we are “glued to our screens.”

Because of our internet usage, we know how to keep our information safe and how to filter through online scams, catfishing and fake news better than nearly anyone else. Plus, as we enter the workforce, our high social media usage will require companies to change their marketing strategies, meaning it’s time to stop hating on our means of communication and start learning how to use it.

Additionally, all the stereotypes perpetuated about “kids these days” discredit our rising social activism and desire to catalyze positive change in the world.

In fact, our generation has already created and fueled a nationwide gun reform movement. We are climate change activists, feminists and advocates for mental illness de-stigmatization. From 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who recently sparked climate change protests across Europe, to Nobel Prize laureate and education activist Malala Yousafzai, members of GenZ are proving that we can and will change the world.  

As cliché as it sounds, we are the future.

 

Sincerely,

GenZ

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