They are calling for trouble on social networks, but they are also accused of being too far away from reality; they are very personal and quite confident in their own abilities, but the older generation often criticize their lack of knowledge reserves and ideas; they are the most closely related to the world.
Generations, but also easy to be pessimistic due to the failure of international cooperation… They have a general term – Generation Z, usually referring to people born between 1995 and 2009.
No matter how much the outside world thinks about Generation Z, they are ultimately the “back wave” and the “owners of the future”, and the future global competition is also regarded as the competition of “Generation Z”. What are the characteristics of “Generation Z” abroad? What is their living conditions and world outlook? Global Times reporters in many countries conducted research on this.
America – “Twd Trump”, one of their masterpieces
2020 is a “crazy year” for Americans, and the feeling of Generation Z is particularly profound.
Sarah is the badminton coach of the Global Times reporter. At the age of 16, she is the top five players in the women’s junior team of badminton in the United States.
Her father is an overseas Chinese in Vietnam and her mother is a former member of the Chinese Bayi badminton team. Sarah grew up in a multi-ethnic community, and only half of the white students in the class were in the class.
Usually, Sarah likes to chat with her classmates through social apps, likes to play ball games, and has excellent academic results. Her dream is to get into her favorite university and become a writer after graduation.
Sarah is a typical “Generation Z”. According to statistics, Generation Z has more than 67 million people in the United States, of whom about 24 million have reached election age, accounting for about 10% of the total number of voters.
Compared with their parents, the “Generation Z” of the United States was born in a very different era – with a prosperous economy and low unemployment, but a serious polarization between rich and poor.
In the United States, only half of the “Generation Z” group is white, while Hispanics, Africans and Asians make up the other half. This generation has grown up with smart phones, and phones and TVs have become a little strange to them.
Sarah said she believes that domestic issues such as racial equality, social justice, universal health insurance, and free university are the top priority for the United States, and becoming a global hegemon and serving as a world policeman is not her generation’s dream.” Few people on American campuses like Trump because he discriminates against minorities, immigrants, women and homosexuality.” Sarah said.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, only 22% of “Generation Z” recognized Trump’s performance and 78% opposed it, according to the data. In the middle of last year, Sarah and her friends were involved in a crazy thing: the whole of Trump.
They targeted a Trump campaign rally with 19,000 seats. In just a few days, a large number of posts calling fans to register but not going to the scene were watched and responded to on short video platforms. Eventually, the participants in the rally only sat less than one-third of the seats on the scene.
Embarrassing Trump or even losing the election is the happiest thing for Generation Z in 2020, but the epidemic has dealt them with a heavier impact than other generations. Sarah has been on holiday since mid-March last year and now for 10 months.
She doesn’t know when she will really return to normal. Although there are online courses, the lack of face-to-face communication and activities makes her feel very anxious. According to statistics, more than 62% of “Generation Z” have mental health problems due to the impact of the epidemic.
Generation Z could have replaced Millennials as the most educated generation in the history of the United States. But the coronavirus epidemic has hindered the education level of American teenagers. The epidemic has also worsened the economic and living conditions of Generation Z.
In April 2020, 27% of the “Generation Z” lost their job, and until now, their unemployment rate is still above 10%, because many of the “Generation Z” working retail and hospitality industries have been the most affected by the epidemic.” Some of the Gen Z” also face the dilemma of losing their jobs as soon as they graduate.
In addition, the pandemic has caused a rapid increase in debt of Generation Z: 43% of Generation Z currently default on credit cards, rent or other payments, and 46% are forced to borrow money from family or friends.
Sarah has been living with her parents and has not yet realized the hardships of life. However, other “Generation Z” people much older than her have changed the tradition of young people living independently and returned to their parents’ homes.
According to a report by ZILLOW, the largest real estate agency platform in the United States, 3 million young Americans returned to their parents’ homes in just a few months due to the wave of unemployment caused by the epidemic, of whom 58% of the “Generation Z” lived with their parents.
Biden’s election gives “Gen Z” a hope for the country to get back on track, but it still seems like a distant dream to truly complete social transformation and bridge differences.
Germany – more concerned about the global situation, and also vulnerable to pessimism
“Germany’s Generation Z is pessimistic about the future!” Germany’s Focus magazine said on the 16th that although Germany’s economy recovered faster in the epidemic crisis and unemployment rates were lower than that of other European countries, a recent survey conducted by the famous Fossa Public Opinion Survey showed that less than one-third of the “Generation Z” were optimistic about the future of Germany and the world.
In Germany, there are many titles for Generation Z, such as the Intern Generation, the New Digital Aboriginal, Generation Zero, Snowflake Generation, etc.
The Snowflake Generation means that this generation of young people are as fragile as snowflakes.
Every year, “Generation Z” also has new names, such as “Generation Greta”, which refers to a generation that is concerned about climate change like Greta Thunberg, Sweden’s “environmental girl”, and “Generation Corona” refers to the generation that is particularly affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.
Lily Braudsen is a law school student and a young member of the German Social Democratic Party. Although she is only 19 years old, she is very confident. She has many characteristics of German “Gen Z”, such as paying attention to climate change, advocating feminism, and being an Internet celebrity generation.
Speaking of the Internet, she can talk for a long time. Her usual study, work and hobbies are almost inseparable from the Internet. Currently, she has 31,000 followers on Twitter and 1,65k followers on Instagram.
“Generation Z” has its own good wishes and is a generation that does it, but previous generations always think they live on the Internet,” Braudson said.
Gen Z still has few opportunities to participate in politics and has little say, but their participation in the “Friday for the Future” environmental protection campaign has attracted widespread attention in Germany.
Even German Chancellor Merkel discussed social and political issues with Generation Z from time to time, and also gave joint interviews to “Generation Z” Internet celebrities.
Klaus Eisenberg, an engineer at 83, told the Global Times that these “post-war generations” grew up in the ruins and had little choice and had to be down-to-earth.
In the past, CEOs of Volkswagen, Siemens and other large companies came step by step from ordinary employees, while Generation Z has not suffered much and had many opportunities.
His little nephew explained IT knowledge to fans through online channels, and his monthly income was several times his retirement salary.” Moreover, Generation Z is very global, not as well branded as previous generations.
German sociologist Marcel Hassen told the Global Times that the rapid development of network technology has shaped the “Generation Z”. Several studies show that Generation Z believes in itself more and believes that individuals can better solve global problems such as climate change. Moreover, developed social networks can indeed be more influential than traditional politics.
The way “Generation Z” participates in politics is also networked, such as signing online petitions and posting “manifestations” on social media. Active participation in demonstrations is also a major feature of Generation Z.
In response, Marcel Hassen said that Generation Z is more concerned about the global situation, which is also more vulnerable to injury and pessimism, because it is difficult to change the overall situation at once. He believes that if “Generation Z” is to play a more role, the government should be more networked and research institutions and the media should pay more attention to them.
Japan – it’s “waste wood” and also “backwave”
In Japan, “Generation Z” is equivalent to the “easy generation” as people call it. In 2016, Japanese TV broadcast a TV series called “What about the Loose Generation”. From the name of the TV series, it can be seen that the “loose generation” born after 1995 is a derogatory term in Japan.
What was Japan like in 1995? The GDP per capita is close to $43,500, 1.5 times that of the United States and 71 times that of China. Among the top 500 companies in the world, 149 are Japanese companies, only two fewer than those in the United States.
The “Generation Z” of Japan, which grew up in this era, seems to have everything since its birth.
Buying a house, a private car, and catching up with loose education, it shows the characteristics of trying to stay away from competition, no desire to buy, incompetence in love, the supremacy of personality, seeking peace and stability, and believing that it is better to be the only one than to be the first.
This attitude to life that lies flat and laughs makes them have an extra umbrella – “Pingcheng waste wood”!
“Generation Z” also has a more detailed classification.
Toru Saito, a visiting professor at the Japanese Academy of Learning, classifies “Generation Z” into four categories: optimistic and upward life – satisfying the status quo, optimistic about the future, having more friends, and attaching importance to life experience; low-consumption pessimistic – not like to deal with people, not interested in luxury goods, tending to minimalist life; social activists – – Sensitive to popular things, strong information capture, active on Facebook, photo wall, Twitter and other platforms; Onlooker – No obvious characteristics, more men, addicted to the Internet.
It is expected that by 2025, Japan’s “Generation Z” will become the main force of the working-age population, and the so-called “scum” must one day become the mainstay of society.
According to the daily employment intention survey of 2020 fresh graduates, Japan’s largest on-the-job transfer platform, “Generation Z” has the highest proportion of requirements for employment units is “being able to work happily”, followed by “being able to guarantee a full personal life while working”. Those who want to sharpen their heads into well-known enterprises decreased by 1.8% year-on-year.
The “Generation Z”, which is at the peak of birth, is accused of “not striving for the upper reaches” and “not willing to take responsibility”, in fact, there are many advantages that the previous generation did not have. First of all, they have been exposed to digital technology since childhood and have been able to use media platforms and IT products.
Secondly, they have a high sense of internationalization and have been concerned about international issues since childhood. They are more inclusive and pluralistic about gender, race, sexual orientation and other issues. They dare to resist bullying in the workplace and demand equality in all fields. Thirdly, they avoid the trend as a whole. The tendency to seek stability is strong, and it is not considered to be successful.
Qingying University’s first-year-round fashion horse has been using Jobs’ motto “turn what he likes into a career” since junior high school. At the age of 18, he developed a wooden robot and started a business while studying. When she was in the sixth grade of elementary school, 11-year-old Sugano developed 10 apps and was invited to show her development results to Apple CEO.
Her original intention was that her grandmother was saddened by the reduction of sewing stores, so she specially made an app that could turn pictures into embroidery background pictures.
The above-mentioned young people are typical representatives of Generation Z. They dare to choose unpopular fields and are willing to fill the gap by themselves. This unique spirit of exploration is regarded as the driving force of innovation and innovation in Japan.
The Japanese government plans to support 20 small and medium-sized enterprises by 2023 to achieve a market value of $1 billion, relying on the power of Generation Z.
“Generation Z” is just like the song, “Small flowers and large flowers are different as individuals. It doesn’t matter if you can’t be the first. Each flower is originally a special Only one.”
Britain – “The eloquence of politicians is boring”
Dan Miller, who has just turned 21, lives in London. He has a business background as the CEO of a social media company. Miller hopes that his company can serve more peers in the future because he believes that the existing social media has become old-fashioned for him and some of his peers.
Miller’s thoughts and ways of behavior represent the growing “Gen Z” in Britain. In the UK, the influence of this group cannot be underestimated – they have surpassed the “millennials” to become the most populous generation in Britain.
They spend £7 billion a year, about 60% of the “Generation Z” have bought beauty products before the age of 14, and only one-seventh of the “Generation Z” say that social opinion leaders will influence their purchasing decisions because they will make decisions themselves.
The “Generation Z” is the first generation of true “digital human beings”. In the UK, these young people will find it outdated to find new products by reading newspapers and magazines. Instead, they spend an average of 10.6 hours a day using network devices. Instagram is the most popular platform and YouTube ranks second.
Britain’s “Generation Z” generally has a supportive belief in globalization and international cooperation. Miller started his own company a few years ago through an entrepreneurial scholarship, with the goal of attracting 5 million young British people by 2022, and one day replace social media such as LinkedIn.
At present, the company has an annual income of more than 50,000 pounds and has three offices in the UK, but the actual staff is only 10. Even so, the company has established partnerships with large international companies such as KPMG and L’Oreal to recruit employees for them. This way of operation, according to Miller, is the understanding of the concept of entrepreneurship and work in the “Generation Z”.
Of course, some people also say that the knowledge reserve and depth of learning of Generation Z are not enough.
The Daily Mail once published a survey that the basics of geography of Generation Z are far less than those of the age group over 55: Only 21% of the “Generation Z” surveyed people know where the statue of the Northern Angels, a landmark in northern England, and 24% know which county Shakespeare was born in…
Most “Generation Z” are not interested in the ideological struggle behind the global changes.
In London, 18-year-old Brown told the Global Times that politicians’ eloquent speeches were boring, and he did not join any political party because he believed that society and the market could adjust themselves more, and artificial intervention could only have negative effects most of the time.
He said that he had a good time with the local North Korean and South Korean immigrant children. Everyone would only feel that they were a generation living in the same city, and the topics in the political news were too far away from them.
This does not mean that Generation Z is deaf to current political topics. Generation Z, who has a strong sense of rights, will rudely put forward his views in the face of various problems exposed by the epidemic.
Charouska, 16, had a coronavirus infection, which prompted her to think about the UK’s response to the pandemic.” If one positive thing about the pandemic is that people have changed and we have a huge awakening.”
She said, “This is a tsunami. The epidemic has shown us that the government has made mistakes and does not know the answer. Our generation has realized that we are living in this world together and we must create the change we want to see.”