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A New Generation of Superheroes

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     The past two decades have been unquestionably erratic. The world has seen an increase in destructive natural disasters, market crashes, terrorist attacks, protests, mass shootings, extremist groups, wars, and, most recently, a pandemic. 

     These circumstances have shaped a generation of people like no other, known as Generation Z. This generation was born between  the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, making them “digital natives” — born and raised during the age of digital technology. Now, as teens and young adults, they’re able to dominate the online world. 

     They are more ethnically and racially diverse than any previous generation, with only a slight majority of 52% being white. In addition to this, they’re making a fast approach to being the most educated generation among their predecessors; they’re less likely to drop out of high school and more likely to enroll in college than any other generation. Plus, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), they are much less interested in drugs, alcohol, and sex from a younger age, which has resulted in teenage pregnancy rates plummeting over the past years. Of course, this is all good news but, the added chaos of recent world events has put Gen-Z in a unique position. 

     Gen Z were forced to face the realities of the “real world” relatively quickly, with disturbing events happening all around them while they tried to grow up. The age of technology spawned a previously unseen interconnectedness throughout the globe, leading to a rapid spread of information everywhere. It was virtually impossible to be unaware of the brutal stories making headlines. Now, with the oldest Gen Z members in their early twenties, the world can get a glimpse into the lives of the next generation to lead.

     Even to the general public, it is clear that the vast majority of Gen Z members are very aware of the problems in our society. Issues like climate change, along with racial and gender inequality, seem to be the most concerning among Gen Z members. With this in mind, it is unsurprising that most of Gen Z wants a more progressive government. Generation Z believes that racial, ethnic, and gender diversity is a good thing for society and not a harmful one, as past generations have sometimes believed. 

     They are less likely to be nationalists. Nationalism is the sometimes dangerous ideology that your nation is superior to all others. Instead, Gen Z is populated more by patriots. In contrast to nationalists, patriots do have pride and loyalty to their country but also have an inclination to help their fellow citizens. Gen Z patriots value equality, honesty, and openness as well as recognizing the errors of the system. 

     Despite what older generations may believe, many studies show that this generation is more focused on perfecting the system rather than breaking it. Those studies discredit the stereotype that Gen Z individuals are “anarchists” who are too worried about being politically correct and obsessed with the number of likes their newest Instagram post gets. 

     Instead, it proves that all the devastating events have led to the making of a generation of realists. 

     Believe it or not, many Gen-Z members have a pretty firm grasp on the way the world works by now, so they understand that the future is incredibly important and that it isn’t guaranteed. It explains why many participate in volunteer work or social entrepreneurship, some of which are known globally like 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg and 23-year-old female education activist Malala Yousafzai. These representatives of Generation Z show how fierce their generation is when it comes down to making change.

     The consensus is that this generation has not had it easy but they have grown up with the internet and numerous advancements in technology, which sets them apart from all other generations in human history. The world is an intense place and the current political turmoil calls for a cutthroat tech-savvy league of professional multi-taskers to help guide the world and fight for the right causes. This league may very well be Generation Z. 

 

Written by Timea Matavova
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