You could read a dozen articles on challenges that generations face or what’s wrong with the Millennials and how the Baby Boomers failed. What about the new kids on the scene?
Usually known as Generation Z, this generation includes anyone born after 2002, which makes up about 18 percent of the population. They’ve already been given a catchier name – the ‘Linksters’ – thanks to speaker and author Meagan Johnson. We’re not sure if it will stick, but the reasoning behind the ‘Linksters’ name does make a lot of sense:
“We chose the term Linkster Generation because it is the first generation to be linked into technology from day one. Millennials brought technology into the cultural focus and have pushed other generations to use technology. However, there are Millennials that can remember using dial up or even a life before social media,” Johnson told The Independent.
These kids grew up with technology in their face. From social media, to apps for their smartphones, these kids didn’t have to struggle with the cord on their telephone or wait an eternity for their dial up to connect to the internet (only to be interrupted when your mom needed to make a phone call.) If that doesn’t make you feel old, keep in mind that these kids aren’t really kids anymore – most of them are 15 years old and will be entering the workforce in a few years, if not already starting out with some part time jobs here and there. Our very own Robby Slaughter has spoken about generational conflicts and attracting younger generations to your business, which will always be a constant learning curve for workplaces.
That means that they will be looking up to Millennials for guidance and support. Millennials, the group that is already obsessed with technology and the easier pace it brings, are having children of their own now and passing on that love of technology. I have a 5 month old myself and let me tell you, Snapchat has been a lifesaver. Letting her look at herself (I call it “the baby in the phone”) and all the eye-catching filters has helped me avoid some major meltdowns already. It’s the new way to jingle a bright and shiny object in front of their faces to distract them like our parents used to do. And how does Generation X contribute to the changes in child rearing?
“In a response to the high divorce rate, many Gen X children experienced as kids, more and more Gen X parents are choosing to have one parent be at home with their children. The generational difference being it is no longer the traditional woman staying at home. More and more Gen X dads are choosing to stay home with their children,” says Johnson.
As I am entering the world of parenting, I can tell you that the amount of stay-at-home dads with mom as the main provider has drastically increased. When I was younger, I don’t think I ever knew a dad who didn’t work. Each generation changes and shifts with the times, seemingly becoming more tolerant and accepting. Sometimes, that just doesn’t jive well with older generations. Johnson explained:
“We use the same negative words to describe every generation as it enters the workplace or the marketplace. I find it amusing to hear my peer group (Gen Xers) describe the younger generation as a group of people that do not want to pay their dues or expect a high salary within three months of starting their job. We were described the same way back in the 1990s and our Baby Boomer parents were described just as negatively twenty years earlier… When we use negative words to describe the younger generation what we really are describing is a frustration to identify or understand the skill set that younger people are bringing into the workplace.”