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May 10, 2013

Generation Evolution, Good or Bad?

The new kids on the virtual block. Are we prepared to wrap our heads around them? The Generation Z, the iGeneration or if you may, the Gen Zers.

Born around the start of the millennium, growing in the information era, they are smart, well informed and limitless. The Gen Z mindsets are the focus of every forward-thinking nation, 65% of the primary learners will work in careers that currently don't exist, are you preparing your kid for this free thinking adaptability? bet you should be.

Raised in the age of technology, Gen Z audiences know the world only as digital one. Tech-savvy, life filled by mobile gadgets that access the world. Survey indicates top sites visits at least once a week: -YouTube: 93%, Facebook: 65%, Twitter: 26%, Google: 26%, Instagram: 17%  they are more distracted with multiple forms of media and are in constant contact with people 24/7. They aren't turned on by technology, it's a tool. They are the kids with brains rewired by the internet, answers to questions coming from Google and YouTube, but lack critical-thinking skills to evaluate sources. Gen Z are fast becoming the most successful problem-solving Generation. Their brains have become wired to sophistication, complex visual imagery. They will likely be the first Generation to consume media online than offline.

If Gen Zers are 'digital integrator' then how can we teach them in analogue, where a teacher spoon-feed them knowledge? Well, i salute our President, Uhuru Jomo who seems to be having such distant insights in mind and hinting it loud for Generation Y and the Baby Boomers to flex and embrace this new digital crop in the making. Relax, um getting back to that "Generation bracket" in a few. Yes, politicians might decree what is to be learned but we are free to decide how. The times are changing and other nations are way much ahead.

This Generation would rather text than talk, prefer online, don't spend much time outdoors unless forced into organized activity. Though they're characterized as multitasking whizzes, they are simultaneously garnering the reputation among the parents of Generations Y and prior Generations alike, of being lazy, unaware and apathetic. They are leading a sedentary lifestyle that, when paired with a poor diet can result in Obesity or Overweight and other health problems. Generation Lay-Z, have we added another lost Generation?

In the Olympics of living, there used to be a moment when an older Generation "passed the torch" to the next Generation. But today as the leading edge of the Baby-Boom Generation reaches the traditional torch-passing age, retirement, the tradition is obsolete. The more norms, policies and behaviors of past Generations have left the torch in far too poor a condition to pass in good conscience. Should we blame technology? Has the day that Albert Einstein feared arrived?

"I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots." _Albert Einstein

Okay, here we go now...

Talk of generations
Builders: 1920-1945  generation with a strong work ethic, financial conservation and respect for authority.
Baby Boomers: 1946-1964  they are vocal on social issues and liberal in outlook
Generation X: 1965-1976  cynical about authority and open to new forms of spirituality, but insecure about their financial future
Generation Y: 1977-1994  labelled as flighty and transparent, they are known as the "me now" generation
Generation Z: 1995-2012  tech-savvy, creative, confident and with a strong work ethic -the result of more mature parents and the economic downturn
Generation Alpha:  the next generation, set to be the largest generation yet.Brought up in an era of information overload, they are expected to be even more tech-savvy and materialistic than their predecessors, Gen Z  -generational tension!!

After all is said and done, what is your take on this Generational evolution?


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