Generation Z

by Rocky Mountain Stepmom

Did I already submit this? Anyway, it’s a report (that I’m not going to pay for) about how to teach Generation Z. The description page actually touches on all the relevant issues. What do you think, you parents of Gen Z? Are your kids “skeptical and money-conscious”? (Good. They’ll make excellent Totebaggers.)

The New Generation of Students: How Colleges Can Recruit, Teach, and Serve Gen Z

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144 thoughts on “Generation Z

  1. Gen Z is the generation after millennials. Usually mid to late 90s to early 2000s.

    My Gen Zer is very focused on money and brands. She knows many more details than me thanks to social media and especially vloggers, you tube, instagram, etc. her primary source of news is a feed she has on Snapchat.

  2. Based on the most current definition(s) I have 1 millennial (born in 94) and 2 Gen Zers (96, 99).

    DS2 is definitely brand conscious. Both he and DS3 are money conscious. They like having it and are good with working to obtain it. Because DW & I both have a savers mentality, they clearly understand money does not grow on trees, life is full of choices that compete for our time and money, that we all have to learn to choose wisely how to spend those resources.

  3. Both my kids, I think are Gen Z. They too are very aware of how much certain brands that are cool cost. And I have been surprised by how much shoes/clothes that don’t look the price can cost.

  4. I’ve read reports about Gen Z being most like Depression era generation except with computers attached to their hands. My own child is fairly young still, so I can’t say whether or not she fits the mold, but she is very aware of that we have a good life. I think a lot of it is because she goes to parochial school and there are a lot of discussions about the less fortunate.

    The articles I’ve read about Millennials vs. Gen Z seem to portray them as being so different from one another. Is that really the case? I personally don’t know a huge number of teens/young adults to be able to judge for myself, but so far I’ve been really impressed by the teenagers I do meet. They seem so much more put together and much less angsty than I did as a young adult.

  5. They too are very aware of how much certain brands that are cool cost.

    That’s certainly not a new thing. Don’t conflate generational changes with the totebag apples being less nerdy than the totebag trees from whence they fell.

  6. “Are your kids “skeptical and money-conscious”?”

    Yes. And risk averse. I don’t think those traits are generational though – just innate. From what I have seen he qualifies as late GenZ (08).

    I agree that YouTube is 100% the website of choice for GenZ, especially late GenZ.

    I do think the idea of teaching and marketing to GenZ might be different from even the Millenials, who didn’t have smartphones from a young age. They are growing up 100% with social media.

    I often think how damn lucky I am that my youth was NOT documented and shared on social media. Dumb phones weren’t even mainstream until I was an adult. Even if you are not a participant now, it is unavoidable.

  7. @Rhett – I agree with you. I can still remember what some of the coveted items I bought cost in 1989. (e.g., Guess Jeans – $50 and an Esprit Totebag – $20. Terrible quality on both too.) I’m sure DH could tell you how much Air Jordans were in 1992. Although he had Pippens to be “unique”.

  8. “her primary source of news is a feed she has on Snapchat.”

    DS gets a LOT of information from Vox videos on YouTube.

  9. They seem so much more put together and much less angsty than I did as a young adult.

    I have noticed this as well. I felt in my case, my friends who had more involved parents suffered from less angst.

  10. I’m in a micro-generation between Gen X and Millenials. I think brand consciousness and the cost of that is ubiquitous across the generations. With social media and shopping at our fingertips we are more immediately aware. You don’t have to flip a tag over on a shirt to understand the cost when you can go on the web.

    I can see a difference between Millenials and Gen Z through my cousins. But it’s a small group of young women who are different from each other such that any conclusions I have can’t be generalized. At the same age, the Millenial was more aware of global social issues (even local), while the Zs are more contained to their HS social circles. At the same age, the Millenial and Z are both not as aware of college costs as I was, but that may be a family thing, not a generational thing. The Z definitely is more attached to a phone than the Millenial and knows more social media apps.

    I wonder what my sons’ generation will be called? Alpha, Beta? Or post-Great-Recession?

  11. I can still remember what some of the coveted items I bought cost in 1989.

    I got a new reminder that I’m getting old with our Land Rover discussion. 90s Land Rovers are now selling for 4x what they cost new a quarter century ago. Why? Because when I was in high school that was by far the coolest car you could have. And now guy who were in HS in the 90s and now have money want to buy the car they wanted as a teenage. Just like the Shelby Cobras and Mercedes Gullwings of generations past.

  12. They seem so much more put together and much less angsty than I did as a young adult.

    Aka less nerdy?

  13. The WSJ had a long article recently on Gen Z, and it definitely described characteristics I recognize in my kids.

    I think Gen Z is going to give millennials a run for their money. I’ve worked with a ton of millennials in what I would call a service capacity (legal, accounting, consulting), and what strikes me the most about them is how inwardly focused they are. They want quick promotions, work from home, flex hours, always looking for their next best thing. In professional service industries, they focus very little on the client, and much more on themselves. Quick to put things in the ‘too hard’ pile, reluctant to dig deep. Super demanding as consumers, but not diligent in providing services to their consumers. As a result, I’ve observed millennials are slow to build their own client bases – much slower than my Generation X was. Gen X wanted more responsibility faster, millennials want more promotions faster.

    I think Gen Z is going to come along and clean millennials’ clocks. I think Gen Z is going to recognize clients want more substance and attention and is going to be willing to provide it. Early Gen Z coming into to the work force already seems more resilient to me, more willing to dig deep, more willing to be integrated into a company or a client’s company.

  14. I’ve worked with a ton of millennials in what I would call a service capacity (legal, accounting, consulting),

    I want to clarify – my work has been where I have a client and need to coordinate services on behalf of the client with other service providers. Not on my own individual behalf.

  15. Several teenagers I recently met (a couple at a school function and others at a get together with my husband’s old classmates) just seemed comfortable around adults and talking to them. They also seemed so self-assured and confident. I feel like they never had that weird awkward stage trying to figure out who they were like I did. Maybe it’s not true, but it was just the impression I got.

  16. Hm, I’d always thought Millenials’ birth years went a couple years into the millennium. But this sure sounds a lot like my kid. “Value” is just as likely to mean “monetary” to him (the way it’s used in the video) as it is to mean actual values, related to character, morality, ethics, and all that other good stuff.

  17. I think they’re more aware of prices for everything vs. just the stuff they’re interested in buying. One of the kids that I drive in the carpool already has 1000s saved for a new car. She still has a couple more years until she can drive. She just bought jingle ball tickets for $350 each. She is a dog walker and a babysitter.

    My kid wants certain things and she gets emails and waits for sales etc. she knows when the time is ripe ito approach us about buying certain things.

    They’re hyper aware because they have SO much more information than we had at their age. If I wanted to know how much a pair of jeans cost, I had to look in Seventeen mag or go to the store. They set up price watch or price match or their phones to receive alerts when they want something.

    I think they’re willing to work hard to get what they want, but they seem to be very driven by money. This may change as they get older, but it it is a theme for their gen. They like saving and spending money.

  18. Rhode, I think our kids would be generation Alpha or iGen or whatever……

    Too early to generalize them, but only thing I can say that they are already mindblowing. Smart and super confident.at a very young age.

  19. They go through that weird awkward stage, but they feel pressure to never show it because every second of their day is about a photo op. That pressure to look as if everything is great means that they also have some of the highest rates of depression and anxiety. There are many articles about how the mental health departments don’t have enough staff available to meet the demand at some schools.

  20. “They seem so much more put together and much less angsty than I did as a young adult.”

    Except I keep reading that their anxiety levels are through the roof. And they seem more willing to admit to being anxious rather than sucking it up. Needing therapy is not something to be ashamed about. Our local high school just announced some sort of therapy dog program for stressed out students.

  21. Show update:

    DD – good call with Single Parent.

    I also love Charlie Luxton’s Homes by the Med on Netflix.

  22. I guess DD (10) is at the end of Gen Z, and DS1 and DS2 will be whatever is next.

    DD still does not have much internet acces or snapchat, instagram, or Minecraft – and since we now get all of our news online, she also doesn’t have copies of the Times or the Journal or any exposure to TV news (I discovered last week that she had never heard of NBC or Good Morning America).

    She says her classmates stay up at night watching YouTube and gaming but we cut off YouTube for kids when we realized it was keeping DS from his homework, and I won’t allow video games yet. (If you have advice on when it really becomes a social necessity, I would love to hear it – it is clearly sometime past second grade around here.

    My perspective is limited to the college kids who babysit for us and some younger cousins, but they do seem much more sophisticated about the working world than my peers in late Gen X/early millennials were.

  23. If being more open to addressing mental health issues becomes standard because of Gen Z, then they will be a successful generation.

    I’m not surprised their rates of anxiety are high. Everything is recorded FOREVER. They have zero “off” time. The thought of that stresses me out to no end.

    Dell – I think iGen is another name for Generation Z. Though it would be applicable. Both my toddlers work my i-things better than I do.

  24. Several teenagers I recently met (a couple at a school function and others at a get together with my husband’s old classmates) just seemed comfortable around adults and talking to them.

    I think I mentioned that I got recertified as a lifeguard last month. I had three 15-year-olds in my class. They were very sweet and friendly to elderly me. I think I would have been more scared to talk to an Old. But then again when I was a teenager it seemed like Olds were always chiding us and correcting us and disapproving of us. Today’s Olds are more willing to engage with teenagers without immediately telling them that they’re doing it wrong, whatever it is.

  25. From the clip – Appear younger than they are

    Rant Warning – As a Gen Z parent, trying to give them more responsibility has always been a battle. On one hand – the message is let them do it themselves; On the other hand – teacher response – there is no reason your child should not have a 100 grade on all homework because you were supposed to go over it with them and then allow them to correct it. GAH!

    So many things I did from 16 – 18 on my own that my children are not allowed to do. Examples, open a bank account without an 18+ year old signer, go to the doctor for a routine exam or to get a form signed alone, or buy Sharpie markers or spray glue or spray paint.

  26. In the past, we have talked about how a lot of teenagers these days (at least Totebag-class teenagers) don’t work; instead they focus on school and extracurriculars and sports. I’m not seeing this with DS (born 2004) or his classmates, though; a lot of them have jobs. DS has a regular babysitting gig two afternoons after school, and some evenings. A few of his classmates are baggers at the local grocery store. A good friend of his works seasonally at the local kayak/paddleboard shop. The kids seem to like to earn their own money. I imagine it varies a lot from kid to kid whether they are saving or spending it.

  27. GenZ anxiety – the other issue is they are the “zero tolerance” generation where there is limited room to screw up and grow from that experience.

    Money awareness – Both of my kids are aware of $$. My DD#1 was very clear that due to the way tuition works at her school, she needs to take at least 16 hours a semester or she will expand her cost for school outside of her current budget. Taking out a loan is the LAST thing she wants to do. She is a saver to the point that sometimes she foregoes something she wants. DD#2, while aware, and the one who seeks out employment, is more likely to buy something she wants and have no feeling of regret.

  28. I let my DD (9) on Youtube, but I have to be vigilant about what she watches. She was watching something about how pranks or riddles, but soon she was watching stuff about surviving natural disasters, kidnappings, dieting tips and finding love again after your husband has an affair.

    The natural disaster thing was starting to worry her a lot though (tornadoes, tsunamis, etc.). When I was her age I remember worrying excessively about nuclear war. Some things are too much for a kid to handle, so I’ve had to watch that. Pretty soon I won’t be able to and that worries me.

    I agree with all the anxiety that you all have mentioned. I do know it’s more prevalent. As a parent to a 4th grader, I’m not sure how to handle that. I’ve noticed this is the year that she is more concerned about what her peers think though.

  29. Wait — how does the “Millennial” generation not span the actual millennium?

    I am wary of these studies when they don’t consider changes that naturally occur with age or distinguish between the generations at the same ages. E.g., 88% of Gen Z are exploring their own sexuality more than in the past — well, I’d certainly hope so, since my DD is 17 and my DS is 13. They don’t exactly have a lot of “past” to compare to, you know? Or things like level of education — given that GenX has been in the workforce longer, I’d expect more of them to have Masters degrees; conversely, I’d expect Gen Z to be more idealistic, since they haven’t run into life quite as much yet. And “products” vs. “experiences”? As we discussed before, “products” are a lot more compelling when you can’t yet afford them, whereas experiences are much more fun to chase after once you’re already comfortably surrounded by a sufficient quantity of nice products. Etc.

    That said, my two kids each exemplify different aspects of this. Both kids are all-devices, all the time, and they use SnapChat, Instagram, and YouTube as their primary portals. Netflix is infinitely more popular than live TV; even when they find a TV series they like, they just wait and stream it. My DD has been enraptured by how much things cost since she was little, and she is 100% focused on education/career that is likely to provide her a good lifestyle.

    OTOH, DS is relatively oblivious to that; he seems very focused on doing what he likes to do and assuming that that will provide a decent living. Sort of like his dad, who never worried about money because he just assumed if he needed more, he’d work harder and make more. Luckily, DS also seems to be like his dad in that the stuff he is interested in seems likely to provide any number of remunerative paths. But it does tend to cut against that Gen Z stereotype. Then again, he does *love* my car, so maybe he just plays things closer to the vest than DD.

    PS — hi from Detroit, where I am having a blissful day in the hotel because my meetings fell through. I got room service breakfast and thought of Rhett, then spent a couple of hours in the restaurant while they cleaned my room, being plied with tea while getting some work done. Doesn’t suck. ;-)

  30. I wonder if there has been a change in temporal orientation. Teens used to be more concerned about the here and now and now they are more focused on the future. Or maybe it’s just nostalgia and it wasn’t all getting your license and dating and going to the prom.

  31. “GenZ anxiety – the other issue is they are the “zero tolerance” generation where there is limited room to screw up and grow from that experience.”

    Is that mostly a totebaggy/class thing? Or maybe I’ve just happened to have a front row seat to plenty of screw-ups where parents picked up the pieces and/or things worked out ok after all . . .

  32. DD is on the edge of millennial/Z, and I’d very money-conscious now that it’s her own. Her employer is starting a 401k, and she wants to save a lot but confirmed with me first that I am not expecting her to move out within the next few months. She is still saving to buy a place, but finds she just really likes that bank balance.

    DS, seeing total cost including room and board at college admissions presentation, “How much would community college be?”
    Me: about $2500/yr plus books
    DD: whisper-shouting “then why are we even talking about this?!?”
    He is very conservative with his money, and with our money. He doesn’t know it, but he will get what is left in his college fund. He plans to go to grad school, so that will work out well for him. He is not remotely brand conscious, but likes quality.

    I am not convinced it’s generational though. I see a lot of their friends rolling through money on status items.

  33. Remember when you were little and you’d see your teacher out at the grocery store and you’d think, “Huh, I guess they exist as people with homes and families and lives outside of being a teacher.”

    The website The Dictionary or Obscure Sorrows coined the term sonder:

    sonder
    n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

    To a very significant degree, in the pre-social media/smartphone world, when you weren’t with someone in the same space they sort of ceased to exist. That takes away some of the anxiety. Sort of how anxious you get if your kids or spouse don’t text you back in a situation where they usually would vs. how things worked in the landline phone era.

  34. Sort of how anxious you get if your kids or spouse don’t text you back in a situation where they usually would vs. how things worked in the landline phone era.

    I’d always forget to call my parents when I traveled to college. My mom’s mantra was “no news is good news.” DD went to sleepaway camp this year for a week and they had no communication with anyone either. I was telling myself the same thing!

    In my young 20s, I was so excited to get caller ID so I could see if any of the guys I was interested in called me. I can’t decide if texting/social media is better or worse for dating.

  35. Is that mostly a totebaggy/class thing?

    Back in the day, in a class of 250 kids, you had maybe 25 kids who had a chance to go to a HSS. Everyone knew who they were and they were jumping through the appropriate hoops. The other 225 kids were going to one of the +80% of schools that aren’t selective and essentially accept anyone who applies. Now it seems that all the kids are being worked like those 25. This despite the fact that they have no better chance of going to a HSS than they did 20 years ago.

  36. I’m not seeing this with DS (born 2004) or his classmates, though; a lot of them have jobs.

    Same with my kids. DS has been working steadily since August, and quite a few of his friends have jobs. DD is just doing some babysitting, and some of her friends have regular jobs.

  37. Rhett, maybe in a class of 250 Totebaggy kids. Back in the day, depending on which day, only 20-50% of kids went to college at all. Military,vocational traininig, jobs and marriage were common post-high school paths.

  38. Rhett, maybe in a class of 250 Totebaggy kids.

    Good pint. It would be more accurate to say the “25” number has increased even though the number of HSS slots remains the same and the chances of kids #26-50 (or 100) getting in are as low as they ever were.

  39. To a very significant degree, in the pre-social media/smartphone world, when you weren’t with someone in the same space they sort of ceased to exist. That takes away some of the anxiety.

    The constant connection that we have now definitely can increase anxiety because there is an expectation for prompt responses. I admit I had a little of it when I couldn’t get a hold of my dad on Father’s Day this year. (If he wasn’t having health issues I wouldn’t have been worried.) He was on the golf course and wasn’t checking his phone.

    My kids thinks it’s hilarious when we tell them how it could take days to reach someone by phone in the old days because there wasn’t voice mail or answering machines. (We had to explain to them what an answering machine was.)

  40. LfB, the millenial term originally referred to coming of age at the dawn of the millenium, i.e. the earliest millenials were supposed to be turning 18 in 2000. Which then got ridiculous when they were also folding in the kids who were born in 2000. But it seems like the boundary between millenial and Gen Z still is not fixed, as one of those articles was talking about Gen Z as starting with those born in the late 90s.

  41. Re born-in-2000 being on the cusp from millenial to Gen Z: When we had a battle-of-the-generations game of Encore last summer, my born-in-2000 oldest was part of Team Millenial, while his born-several-months-earlier-in-2000 cousin was part of Team Gen Z. Team Millenial cleaned everyone’s clocks, since its other member was my musical theater major niece who knows ALL THE SONGS. Team Gen X showed a distressing tendency toward memory problems — “There’s this song on the tip of my tongue, I swear!”

  42. The constant connection that we have now definitely can increase anxiety because there is an expectation for prompt responses.

    I’ve had moments where someone hasn’t responded to me in days or at all. I’ll admit sometimes my first thought is that they are ignoring me, mad at me for some reason or that responding to me is low on the priority list. Then I laugh it off and tell myself I’m being ridiculous. I can only imagine what is going through a teen’s head at the lack of response.

  43. My sister interviews kids for her alma mater, which is a competitive, well-renowned southern school. She gives higher points to those kids who held down a job rather than did the mission trip to Guatemala as extra curricular activities. Most kids are the latter and it is not so special, just “oh mom & dad have money.” I’ve heard the same from others I know who do these interviews.

  44. “battle-of-the-generations game of Encore last summer”

    We LOVE this game! We usually spread our generations evenly… and make the baby boomers thrilled that the Xers all sing 60s standards! Ha!

  45. ” I’ll admit sometimes my first thought is that they are ignoring me, mad at me for some reason or that responding to me is low on the priority list. Then I laugh it off and tell myself I’m being ridiculous. ”

    Please teach me your ways… I can’t laugh this off (but I do have anxiety… so there’s that…)

  46. “Please teach me your ways… I can’t laugh this off (but I do have anxiety… so there’s that…)”

    Rhode, I tell myself that the other person’s life is as hectic as mine and that they are doing the best they can. It’s silly, but it does seem to help.

  47. “I can only imagine what is going through a teen’s head at the lack of response.”

    Yes!! DD will start to freak if she doesn’t hear back from a friend within about 5 minutes; if something lingers for an hour, she reaches the “imminent explosion” threshold.

    But if you really want to set her off, start composing a reply so she sees the three dots and knows you’ve seen the message, then erase it. . . . ;-)

  48. “But if you really want to set her off, start composing a reply so she sees the three dots and knows you’ve seen the message, then erase it. . . . ;-)”

    Not that you’ve done that…. :)

    Cassandra – Not silly. That’s actually a really useful and easy thing to remember.

  49. The constant connection that we have now definitely can increase anxiety

    Also in the sense that if your daughter’s friend Madison’s dad says she can invite two friends for a ski weekend and your daughter doesn’t make the cut that was bad enough in the old days. But now not only are you on the outs you’re getting updates from the slopes. That seems way worse.

  50. I *wish* that therapy seemed like a normal thing to my kid. We are pretty clear what’s going on learning-disability wise now, and rather than figuring out accommodations and get help learning how to deal with it and be successful, he’s simply decided that those hoops are not for him, and if I want him to get good grades, I’m not accepting who he is (even though part of “who he is” is very smart).

  51. My kids middle school kept phones with the teachers all day and gave them at the end of the day. This trained the parents that your kid was fine, just couldn’t respond. The high school discourages parents from texting through the school day. The kids aren’t bombarded with messages they feel they need to respond to.

  52. he’s simply decided that those hoops are not for him, and if I want him to get good grades, I’m not accepting who he is

    You understand where he’s coming from though, right?

  53. Louise, parents were/are actually texting their kids during the school day? That’s one of those things that would just never occur to me to do.

    The same with eating lunch at school with my kids. I had no idea that was a thing until the stories came out from that town that banned it. I can’t believe how outraged these parents are that they can’t do something they shouldn’t be doing to begin with.

  54. S&M – that is interesting. My kids are just on the end of Gen Z and yet to be named next generation. They seem very understanding of the differences in kids in terms of learning styles and disabilities and embrace being advocates for getting themselves the help they need to be the best they can be. I was having lunch the other day at school and I asked DD’s classmate who all the kids at the table were. She rattled them off, and then said there is one more, but she is autistic, so she gets to have lunch in the flex space room by the library because it is quieter. It was very matter of fact, nothing to be ashamed of. Then a other girl pipped up that she wished she could sit with her because the cafeteria is just too loud. I’m curious to see if this acceptance of differences will continue as they get older.

  55. The update from the slopes thing hurts my heart. I’m not looking forward to those moments with DD. I’m sure that will happen more than a few times too. It’s easier to remain oblivious.

    Rhode, I just tell myself I’m being ridiculous because I *know* that I haven’t said or done anything. I just figure they are like me and don’t have their phone with them all the time, or that they just have a lot of messages and just missed mine.

  56. Eh, we used to find out about our non-invitations anyway. In my 20s, some of my friends got together and decided to ride the Trans-Siberian Railway. I was very much not invited. There were reasons having to do with a lot of tension among us. Anyway, joke was on them because it was totally endless and boring.

  57. Rhett, I’m pretty sure that where he’s coming from is having been told all through school that *he* is wrong, should be different, and of course the constant “you’re not trying hard enough/applying yourself/making any effort” with no regard for the huge amount of effort he requires just to sit in the classroom with noises and lights and all sorts of other things assaulting his senses, and having to be around other people. All of that is really hard him. He refuses any kind of therapy or treatment other than Prozac, so he’s been on that for a couple years. It doesn’t make him able to do the work, but it literally makes it so he can get off the floor. Giving up and not doing the work adds to the depression, but is apparently not as painful as hanging his head against the wall of nvld/autism, so that’s what he does. What were you thinking of? I will say that even though he claims that he and the girlfriend have moved on, I think she’s been the best thing for him in a long time. They broke up over irreconcilable differences—she couldn’t handle that he sometimes just wants alone time, and that he can’t deal with spontaneously having other people jump in and join their plans. I am proud of him for standing up for himself. He also is in the social scene more than I have ever seen from him since “the scene” was going outside to play with whoever was out there, so over 5 years ago. He knows very well that the way he thinks is different from other kids—apparently people have recently been pointing out how incredibly accurate his descriptions and metaphors are, and how he sees things other people don’t. If having a social life gets him to accept being different, maybe he’ll eventually decide to learn how to use his strengths instead of putting his head down. I can dream anyway.

  58. Lemon, I SO wish I had been able to get him to a school that would have been able to diagnose and deal with his difference back when he was a malleable little kid!

  59. “The natural disaster thing was starting to worry her a lot though (tornadoes, tsunamis, etc.). When I was her age I remember worrying excessively about nuclear war. Some things are too much for a kid to handle, so I’ve had to watch that. Pretty soon I won’t be able to and that worries me. ”

    You, and your kids, can do something to reduce the chances of the natural disasters. Not sure we could do anything like that WRT nuclear war.

  60. I just get tired of people telling me that my Gen Z students are digital natives, when they are so clueless about all things digital. They are very good, though, at surfing through YouTube videos. Not so different from the kids of my youth who were really good at flipping through Cable TV channels

  61. “The same with eating lunch at school with my kids.”

    That’s a thing? Or it was? The horror!!!!

    Rhett – “Sonder” is a really interesting theory, and I think there is a lot to it.

  62. Denver, my kid used to text me from school all the time. Sometimes it was rolling his eyes his classmates, like the kid in French who wouldn’t shut up or the time a bunch of kids in English didn’t know what “stoop” meant. There was also a long while, the first year of depression and fairly often the second year, that he texted me during lunch. We had happy, silly conversations. I didn’t pressure him about why he was sitting alone/why didn’t he talk to other kids, figured he was likely hating himself for that already. Really, you can’t judge people for what they do with their kids until you know what’s going on, which might be never.

  63. The whole dog thing is so weird. When I was a kid, I was petrified of dogs. If they had brought therapy dogs into my school, I would have run the other way.

  64. ” When I was a kid, I was petrified of dogs. If they had brought therapy dogs into my school, I would have run the other way”

    I would still. And my kid would be LIVID. Having the dogs there would cause him great anxiety, not the opposite.

  65. “The whole dog thing is so weird. When I was a kid, I was petrified of dogs. If they had brought therapy dogs into my school, I would have run the other way.”

    I agree. I love dogs, but my daughter is allergic. Dogs in her school or on her plane make her acutely miserable.

  66. “you’re not trying hard enough/applying yourself/making any effort”

    Shudder – talk about bringing back bad memories. You’ve got him pretty well understood.

  67. Eh, we used to find out about our non-invitations anyway.

    You didn’t get your face rubbed in it 20 times a day. That’s a lot worse. Especially if you’re a teen with very little perspective.

  68. For those commenting about eating lunch at school with your kids, I had read an article about it a week or so & added it to the “suggest topics” queue.

  69. “My sister interviews kids for her alma mater, which is a competitive, well-renowned southern school. She gives higher points to those kids who held down a job rather than did the mission trip to Guatemala as extra curricular activities.”

    qqqq — I hope this is the case. I can already sort of picture DS’ college essay — “My Years as a Manny.” I mean, I don’t think there are that many boys who babysit, so maybe it would make him stand out? (Although I will keep this thought to myself and let him write his own college essay when the time comes.)

  70. Et tu, Rhett? Me too! I wouldn’t be surprised if others on here got the same—thought others were valedictorians.

    WCE, thanks for the link!

    My son and I are allergic to dogs too. He still reacts to them as I did at his age—wants to hug and pet and wrestle with them, throw sticks for them to bring back, etc. I’ve spent enough years avoiding touching them because of allergies that it’s just become natural to me and I’d rather you not bring your dog around. I actually think a pet would be really good for my son, especially during the heavy depeession times, but I think the work would fall to me, even when the kid was doing better. I love him dearly, but don’t want to be taking care of a dog or cat.

  71. “My sister interviews kids for her alma mater, which is a competitive, well-renowned southern school. She gives higher points to those kids who held down a job rather than did the mission trip to Guatemala as extra curricular activities.”

    My aunt is involved in admissions at a very well-known school and she said they want to see a commitment to one or two things, not dabbling in a bunch of things just to check stuff off.

  72. Just finally reading through all the comments…
    “I agree that YouTube is 100% the website of choice for GenZ, especially late GenZ.”

    This is definitely true. And I see a big difference on this between my two oldest, who were born 2000 and 2002, and my youngest, born 2006. The older two like YouTube, and definitely enjoyed watching e-gamers play on YouTube. But my youngest gets everything from YouTube.

    None of my kids maintain more than a nominal presence on Instagram. I am wondering if it is turning into the another Pintarest, the province of 40-something women who like to post photos of their decor. I find both Pintarest and Instagram really dull.

    My oldest two love Reddit, and I have to admit, I do too. It reminds me a lot of Usenet, which is where my first true social media experiences occurred.

  73. @Mooshi – I definitely think Instagram is very Millenial/GenX and not that interesting to teens/tweens. But I could be wrong. I would even say it is heavily Millennial over anyone else. I would guess the average person on there is 30ish not 40ish. But it will turn into 40+ eventually like Facebook has. I use to frequent Usenet back in the day, but I’ve never gotten into Reddit.

  74. My oldest was doing this thing on Reddit where you submit a drawing every week and then everyone else on the subreddit critiques it. It was pretty cool

  75. Ivy – my very first social Internet experience was on net.unix-wizards. I was a grad student.

  76. My kids are 44 to 36 and on a continuum from Gen X to Gen Y. Stepson is 31 and definitely Gen Y. Eldest and wife are Gen X self image is still back in funky Cambridge but a big mortgage and 3 kids… Gen Y seems to be all about finding a way to have enough non work time and enough control over your time to be free to do what you want to do. Gen X seems to be more grinding, grinding. Also Gen X is always blaming the boomers for hogging all the riches. Gen Y doesn’t seem to be so fixated on that, because time freedom is their goal. Younger DD with a Govt hours steady job and active single life with friends and hobbies has a foot in both, as does older DD who has her own business and ostensible time freedom, but works very hard. Younger DS is the actor and consultant and his wife is the same, and DSS is an international ninja competitor and works in a gym.

  77. Wow, I officially have four Gen Zers in the household so I better pay attention. I have a DD (1998) definitely more technologically savy but frustrates me with lack of direction in her college studies. When I was her age I had two part-time jobs and was a declared accounting major. She can’t even tell me how many credit hours she has remaining to earn her BS. I try to be patient but it’s tough. My DS (2002) was given a car (used, high mileage, but a car nonetheless) on his 16th birthday and I can’t motivate him enough to get a part-time job to help pay gas/insurance. Threatening to take away the car is hollow as he is unconcerned with losing it. The other two are too young to figure out completely (2005 and 2008) but all of my children lack any conciese concerning money. Maybe that’s my fault in the raising them but when I was growing up we were a working class family with limited resources (not poor but certainly blue collar). I went to a private school but was made fun of because I didn’t have the ‘cool’ brand of shoes. I recall skipping lunch and saving my lunch money until I had enough to buy those Guess jeans. I vowed that my kids would experience their youth differently. Not that I want spoiled brats but I don’t want them to experience what I did. So while they don’t need to get a part-time job at 16 I want them to, so that they begin to understand reality and how the world works. In general they all seem to be disconnected from reality and that is not what we want.

  78. David — Welcome! (Maybe you’ve posted before? But in any event, thanks for joining in!) I hear where you’re coming from. My parents were immigrants who came to the U.S. with basically no money, and life was hard for them. When they talked to their equally-had-working immigrant friends, they would all often remark that they were working as hard as they were working so that their kids wouldn’t have to. But then when we kids didn’t work as hard as our parents did, our parents called us lazy and spoiled! It’s like they got exactly what they wanted, but then they turned around and complained about it. It’s tough for both the parents and the kids in that situation. Don’t beat yourself up over your parenting decisions; I’m sure you have done a great job. Sometimes kids who grow up comfortable just need to learn some facts of life on their own. That was certainly the case for me.

  79. Instagram is very popular with kids in 4th through high school. Many kids are allowed to get Instagram years before their parents will let them on Snapchat. My neighbor just gave her twins Instagram access for their 12th birthday and they were thrilled. They claim that they are the last sixth graders to have an account, but I doubt it. Many tweens and teens have Finstas, and they use these accounts to share with friends, promote an activity, or just show their real selves.

    i just read an article in our local newspaper about HS athletes using Instagram to promote their talent to attract interest from travel teams and colleges. Some of these local athletes have 1000s of followers. Yes, more adults are on Instagram, but it is still popular with tweens and teens.

  80. from the most recent annual survey of tweens and teens by Evercore:
    https://evercore.bluematrix.com/sellside/EmailDocViewer?encrypt=c4ea9587-fe76-40ca-b87b-599bf97b9a18&mime=pdf&co=Evercore&id=vijay.jayant@evercoreisi.com&source=mail

    Instagram Gains Share, While Snapchat Sheds Teen Users.
    For the first time since we began asking this question, Snapchat failed to gain share, falling from 46% to 34%, and dropping to #2 for the first time since 2015. Instagram regained the top spot on the list of social media sites used by teens, increasing from 29% to 47%.

    What Kind of Social Media Do You Use Most?

    Anthony DiClemente, Internet Analyst – “What we’re seeing here is a clear demonstration of the success of Instagram Stories, the platform’s answer to Snapchat’s disappearing posts. Our view is that Stories acts to reduce the differentiation of one of Snap’s two primary use cases, and makes Snapchat increasingly less necessary for teens to engage with each other. For FB and SNAP shares, we think that the growth of Stories should help offset some of the concerns around declining engagement for the core Facebook app and challenges the SNAP bull case that it is establishing itself as the preferred social platform among the youngest cohort of consumers.”

  81. David, your experience is very similar to what my coworkers have experienced. In one case all kids worked part time jobs, because my coworker would not buy them clothes or pay for gas and insurance. Turns out that two of three didn’t want to learn to drive, and all three are direction less in what they want to do in college. One of her kids has suggested that she will return home and waitress because that is easier than studying and having to find internships.

    Good luck righting your ship. Fred has a good story of all kids eventually finding thier path.

  82. David, I don’t think a work ethic or lack of it is a generational thing, I think it’s a personality trait like everything else. I’ve never had much of one, but my brother has always had a real good one. DS has shown a surprisingly good one since he started his job.

    I agree with Lauren about Instagram – it’s pretty big with DS and his friends.

  83. Rhett, do you have kids? I thought you had mentioned them in years past but I could be mistaken.

  84. Insta is very big with teens in Tampa, and with my sister’s teens in Cleveland. I have to laugh sometimes at how awful she thinks the pix posted by girls from my kid’s high school are. It’s Florida—kids post from the beach & backyard pools. I see her girls doing the same poses and expressions, in different (more) attire.

  85. Lauren, that article makes me think I’ve totally misunderstood what “stories” are. I’ve seen “x added to their story” on FB, had thought that was just the Insta term for timeline/feed, and that it popped up on FB now that the companies are under the same roof. When I click on it, they always seem to be videos, which annoys me so I don’t click on them any more. The article you posted says they’re an answer to Snapchat. Huh?

    Hi David! How are the kids as people? If they’re doing all right there, they’ll figure out the rest. Just be sure to give them clear parameters, telling them exactly what funds are available for what. Does the car belong to the 16 year old, in the sense that he’d be able to sell it if he so desires?

    Meme, I can’t understand the last part of your post because I don’t know the birth order of your kids, so don’t know, for example, if youngest son is older or younger than oldest daughter. That means I can’t tell which generational cohorts each is in

  86. Reading that article about anxiety, IMO that is the result of burnout. I had a lot of academic stress growing up and high expectations but my parents weren’t engaged. The teen years were the worst years of my life and I was terribly unhappy. By today’s American standards I would have needed therapy.
    It’s hard find a balance between kids taking on too much, having too little sleep and burning out vs. kids who have too much free time, are not motivated have the potential to do much more.

  87. David in Alabama, welcome!! I look forward to more posts from you, in which case we’ll need a shortened version of your handle.

    How about ADaveL? Get it?? But that’s still long. Maybe just DiA.

    I empathize with you. Many of us are similarly trying to strike a balance between providing our kids with what we didn’t have as kids, because we’re in a position to afford that, with not spoiling them, and making sure they appreciate their good fortune in having what they do.

  88. As long as we’re talking depression, I liked that this article stresses that it shows up in different ways, some of which look like being unmotivated or as if just not caring is the reason they aren’t living up to their potential.
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-can-you-help-someone-who-is-depressed-1543242613?tier_1=paid_social_acquisition&tier_2=Facebook&tier_3=EMEA+CBO&tier_4=EMEA+CBO+Prospecting&tier_5=How+Can+you+Help+Someone+who+is+depressed%3F&nan_pid=1864813471&ad_id=8535336

  89. Hi David in Alabama!

    “So while they don’t need to get a part-time job at 16 I want them to, so that they begin to understand reality and how the world works. In general they all seem to be disconnected from reality and that is not what we want.”

    I can relate. However, now that my kids are in their twenties I do see that they have developed a better appreciation about how money works in the real world. I don’t think I could have done anything much differently when they were younger, but it has just taken time and maturity for them to understand how privileged they were and are. One thing I will say is that in general I see Gen Zs and Millennials taking more time than my generation to “grow up” and begin to be more self sufficient. While part of is is a class thing, I do believe part of it is more widespread relating to general expectations.

  90. July, isn’t it Baby Boomer teens in the US who “invented” adolescence as a time to grow up, whereas earlier generations took on adult responsibilities sooner? I noticed the international difference during our brief experimentation with a girlfriend. Coming from where she does, she almost certainly knows girls their age who are already married and having children. Her parents are keeping her and her sister in school, but I do think she (and possibly they) took the relationship more seriously than i was prepared to do.

  91. “Also Gen X is always blaming the boomers for hogging all the riches. ”

    Meme – cuz it’s true (she says facetiously). I’m Gen X and really we got screwed. Pressure on both sides – Boomers, Geny Y and Millennials. We’re the work horses!

    My kids were born in 2007 – Is that IGen/Gen Z or something new? Generation labels seems to cover more and more narrow time periods, no?

  92. The thing that all 3 of my kids seem to rely on the most for communicating with their friends is good ol’ text messaging – but they do it in these massive group chats. My oldest has been part of a group chat with his friends for about 5 years now. It just goes on and on and on. They are all in college now and it still goes on. It seems mainly to be endless sharing of snarky memes and weird news type stories. My middle is in another group chat with about 10 kids centered on their D&D group, and my youngest has about 3 group chats that she participates in actively. Two of the groups are friend groups from school, and another is her fencing friends. She reads Instagram but almost never posts. I think her last post was in September. My middle follows some friends on Instagram and comments on their posts sometimes, but last posted anything himself in July. My oldest finally singed up for Instagram a month ago because his art club was using it, but he has never posted anything.
    A lot of commenting and interaction goes in in YouTube and also surrounding games, on Discord. All of my kids have used those platforms, although I cut my youngest off when I discovered what were clearly older men propositioning her.

  93. Just as important, homes in the United States are less affordable than they used to be. According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the typical sale price of an existing single-family home in 2017 was 4.2 times greater than the median household income; that’s 30 percent higher than in 1988. It’s even worse in some cities. Since the late 1980s, price-to-income ratios have more than doubled in metro areas such as Miami, Denver, and Seattle. In San Francisco, the median house price doubled in just five years to more than $1.6 million. That’s a lot of foregone avocado toast.

    I had a Millennial coworker who used to seethe about all the articles cheerily telling her to give up lattes and she’d be just fine financially. I sympathized. (And she didn’t buy lattes, or any extras. And she was still struggling.)

  94. David –
    Welcome!
    I get your lament about your 20yo not knowing “how many credits remain”…I was the same as you, so it’s a strange concept to me. My oldest, 4yrs older, is doing fine in the overall of life, but still ignoring the last ~25-30 credits he needs for his degree. Still feels invincible, I think, not considering what may happen when the economy tightens.
    All of mine, though, are more than willing and able to go out and get a job to pay for the extras we parents won’t. At least they have that drive.
    Tide or War Eagle?

  95. I didn’t read the article, but my first thought is that millennials don’t want to to live out the exburbs where housing is cheap and commutes are long. So, sure, housing is not affordable to get the great commute close to the city. Supply and Demand. Heck, I’m at the tail end of Gen X and I pay a premium to live close in and not have a commute. Quite a few of my friends live way out in big houses with big lawns, just like I had growing up.

  96. the typical sale price of an existing single-family home in 2017 was 4.2 times greater than the median household income; that’s 30 percent higher than in 1988.

    The rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage in 1988 was 10.46%. Since the vast majority of first time home buyers have a mortgage the main issue with affordability is payment not sale price.

  97. Since the late 1980s, price-to-income ratios have more than doubled in metro areas such as Miami, Denver, and Seattle. In San Francisco,

    A 100k mortgage at 4% is 477/month. At 10% it’s 878/month. Even if price to income ratios double, if interest rates fall by more than half, it more or less a wash.

  98. I think there must be several groups of millenials, because the ones I see in the elite cities where they supposedly like to cluster seem to be doing fine. The few times I have gone to any of those fancy rooftop bars with the expensive artisinal drinks, I don’t see people my age, I see millennials. When I was in SF last spring, I went out with a friend to a restaurant was evidently popular with the techies there. My first reaction was I couldn’t believe how overpriced it was, my second reaction was to notice that I was the oldest person in the place, and my third reaction was to notice how that the seafood towers were flying out of the kitchen. Everyone seemed to be eating seafood tower. I have never had a seafood tower in my life. Anthony Bourdain used to have a running joke on his show about trying to wheedle seafood towers out of his producers but they never fell for it. Those things are expensive! And yet, here were all these millennials with their towers.

  99. “The same could be said for any age group. You have elderly folks living in trainers eating a can of beans for dinner and you have others living here gorging on seafood towers.”

    Yep. That is why I distrust articles that claim that millennials are all working gig jobs and unable to afford a decent place to live. You can find people like that in all age groups.

  100. After a recent flight that involved mad sprinting across a terminal to catch a connection after my first leg was delayed I vowed that from now on I would always allow at least one hour during stopovers. However, searching for an upcoming flight I’m tempted by all the options showing connection times as low as 35 minutes, same airline for both flights. I could research specific flights for average delays and TPG has forums giving info about particular airports, but I’m not in the mood to research. :) Thoughts?

  101. That is why I distrust articles that claim that millennials are all working gig jobs and unable to afford a decent place to live.

    That said, those that graduated in 2009-2012 got totally and completely fucked. So there is that group. The kids graduating now are in a much different boat.

  102. Thoughts?

    How soon is the next flight would be the biggest consideration. If you’re Finn Jr. and you miss your flight from NYC to BOS it’s no big deal there is one ever hour. If you’re risking missing your connection from Chicago to the once daily flight to Soux Falls – that’s a different story.

  103. July – I tend to choose connections based on where I’m stuck. If I’m flying from PVD to BWI or MDW (Midway – Chicago), I know I can get a flight quick if something happens. If I’m connecting in Charlotte, then I’m in trouble. I guess my thoughts are similar to Rhett’s, but I think about the airport. I’ve had to change carriers to get home because of a tornado watch (at EWR of all places) and being in an airport with lots of options made that easy.

  104. That’s a good point. How easy would it be to catch the next flight. It depends on airport, final destination, and time of flight (later in the day, holiday or other busy time, etc.)

  105. 35 minutes is too close. My rule of thumb with no checked baggage and an airport layout where I’ll be at a nearby gate in the same terminal for the next flight is 50 min. But If the final destination is less than 2 hrs drive from the major airport and flights are infrequent, i just drive the second leg. We go to a lot of bridge tournaments around the country, but usually only if there is a direct flight.

  106. Although that looks like something in a buffet line. This is more like what the waiter brings you:

  107. Lately I’ve been experiencing that gates are shutting their doors 10 minutes before scheduled departure. So a 35 minute layover really is a 25 minute layover. That being said, sometimes they’ll wait a bit for you because they know that you coming from a connection.

  108. “Everyone seemed to be eating seafood tower.”

    I didn’t know that’s what they’re called. In some industries, these expensive meals are easily expensed. Many of these millennials may not be spending their own money.

  109. I agree on the dip between 2009 to 2012 but then again it depended on the degree. I know a new hire who graduated with N.C. State Statistics at that time and she had no trouble finding a job.

  110. July, I think that’s nuts for a connection, but that’s just me. Even if there are plenty of later flights, there’s no guarantee you’ll get on to the next one and you could easily be stuck for several hours. I avoid connections whenever possible, but if there is absolutely no non-stop or direct option then I won’t do less than an hour.

  111. I just looked at the trip I’m taking next week. It’s a connecting flight both ways. Both layovers are 1+ hours. That’s pretty typical for me. Usually they average around 1.5 hours.

  112. I’m conservative when it comes to making flight arrangements. I’d rather “waste” an extra hour between flights ten times than miss a connection just once. I always choose non-stop flights when possible. So I think I’ll stick with my hour minimum rule of thumb.

  113. I’ve only had a seafood tower when a banker or lawyer was paying for it. I miss those fun meals-especially in December, but I don’t miss the extra pounds.

  114. “That said, those that graduated in 2009-2012 got totally and completely fucked. So there is that group. ”

    Yeah, and I graduated into a horrible recession too. No one could find jobs. I had friends with degrees in things like engineering who ended up in first jobs in call centers or grocery stores. Many of us, including me, went to grad school. It happens in every generation.

  115. “I vowed that my kids would experience their youth differently. Not that I want spoiled brats but I don’t want them to experience what I did.”

    I had the same vow, and DS is far, far behind where I was at his age in caring one little bit about fitting in. The culture of his school is different, and he is different from the way I was.

  116. I had a seafood tower ias part of our dinner for our 5th anniversary. And we didn’t even finish it because there were only two of us. Technically, I was the same age as a Millenial would be in 2018. :)

  117. Lemon, with Gen Z starting about 2000, it sure seems like 2007 babies would be part of that generation! I think it’s the ones born within the last couple of years who may be a different generation.

    Or maybe we should just start defining it by birth decades, because with these 15-20 year generations you always end up with a ton of people saying “Well I’m actually a micro-generation” because the media always likes to talk about a given generation having all experienced certain events at a given age and that leaves a lot of people feeling like they don’t fit the description.

  118. HM – I totally agree with that. DH and I were talking about this last night… it also depends on where you fall in your family. DH and I were born in the same year, technically Millenials, but he was one of the youngest of his family. So his experiences are that of his Gen X siblings, so he identifies more with Gen Xers. (I’m an only with mostly older cousins, so the same experience as DH). But had he been one of the oldest, he may have been “dragged down” to his younger siblings cultural experiences, feeling more like a Millenial.

    If Gen Z starts in 2000-ish, then I expect the next generation to start about 2015. As I was reading up on Gen Z yesterday, I found a suggestion that Gen Z should start with babies born after 9-11, as our world was completely different after that particular day more so than the fluid nature between GenX and Millenial.

  119. As I was reading up on Gen Z yesterday, I found a suggestion that Gen Z should start with babies born after 9-11, as our world was completely different after that particular day more so than the fluid nature between GenX and Millenial.

    Yes, I’ve seen that too, and I think that’s why some of the definitions will put born-in-2000 on the Millenial side of the equation. But that gets a bit ridiculous too, given that (1) the kids born in 2000 were definitely not coming of age at the turn of the millenium, and (2) 9/11 is not within their memory even though it was technically within their lifetime.

    See, if we did the birth decades thing, we could say 80s-born, teens / coming of age around the turn of the millenium, graduating or recently out of college in 2008, flip phones and message boards as teens

    90s-born, childhoods were in the shadow of 9/11, FB and MySpace and flat phones as teens

    2000s-born, watch people playing games on YouTube and Twitch, flat phones in middle school or younger, Insta and Snapchat, Parkland generation

    2010s-born, watch this space!

  120. LMAO! And you can lob 80s-born in the “not so much” category there too!

    I agree with your ideas and I think it should be so. Have you ever seen the mindset list for colleges? http://themindsetlist.com/ It was designed to get professors thinking about the mindset of the incoming freshman.

  121. HM – It’s strange to me that people are talking about hiring/working with Gen Z, which includes my kids who are only 10.

  122. Kerri, yeah, when the media / those who analyze these things finally recognize a new generation, they always want to sweep in people who are actually older than the generation as defined. I remember when the world was new and the whole millenial thing was a fresh new toy for the media to write endless thought pieces about, they were constantly describing things millenials do and then quoting as exemplars people who based on their age as stated in the article were clearly 10 years too old to be millenials.

    In this case, even if you extend it a couple years before 2000 (even though as Rhode just pointed out, you often see Gen Z described as starting in 2001), pretty much the only Gen Z workers you’re seeing in the workplace at this point are working retail / fast food / internships / apprenticeships, because they are maybe 20 at the oldest. Hello, feature writer, that 25 year old new media specialist down the hall you’re basing your article on? Late millenial.

  123. Gen Z is just hitting college now. The only Gen Zers in the workforce are in typical teen jobs.

  124. Im pretty sure demographers use the same old 20-year standard to define a generational cohort, no matter what cute subsets media/the blogosphere comes up with.

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