When the conversation includes a discussion about Millenials and Gen Z, it gets my attention.
I’m fascinated by Generational Marketing and was introduced to research from a group called the Generational Imperative about a dozen years ago. The subject was “Values” and how young people develop their core values.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say this younger generation of today lacks good core values. Guess what? Research says some core values are simply passed down from our parents. How we are raised as kids greatly influences the core values of our children. They also inevitably pick up their own values along the way.
Today’s Gen Zers were born around 2002 which means their parents are Gen Xers. The first generation that grew up with Drive-Thru restaurants. They ate more meals in the minivan than around the dinner table at home. They were the first generation to have a second or third TV in the house allowing them to watch cable and other programs and not in the same room as their parents. Finally, they are also the “Latchkey Kids”. The first generation to come home from school to an empty house because both parents were working. So can you now understand why they are described as “Independent” and “Self Reliant?” They had to go at it on their own. Mom and Dad couldn’t be home.
Fast forward to the Gen Zers…Can you begin to understand why this generation is plagued with mental health challenges? They are being called the “loneliest generation.” They’ve spent much of their lives on their phone and online…and less time developing face-to-face relationships. The political and social turmoil in this country impacts their mental health negatively. They’ve channeled their energy into becoming activists on a wide range of social issues.
So what’s the point? If you’re concerned about the values of Millennials and Gen Z, take a look at the circumstances of how they were raised. Try to understand life from their perspective and we may begin to have a better understanding of how they developed their core values. We may not agree with them…but they do have core values.