Older generations are fond of bemoaning the sad state of affairs in the generations following them. Boomers found Generation X lazy and slothlike, buoyed by a healthy economy and relative peacetime. Gen X thought millennials, addicted to their screens and Facebooks, are entitled and judgmental.
(It goes the other way too — see: “OK, Boomer,” aptly defined in our Gen Z dictionary toward the front of this issue.)
But generational myths are usually flawed, and perhaps nowhere will they be proven more wrong than Generation Z, the youngest generation to now enter the workforce. Gen Zers have shown a penchant for activism — from climate change to gun control to other examples of a conscience. They’re changing how media is created and consumed, they shop differently from generations preceding them, and they are pushing workplaces and workforces to change.
In this latest issue of Digiday magazine, we explored how youth is transforming the way we live, work and shop. In Media, Cale Weissman profiled Omar Raja, the founder of Instagram account House of Highlights who ESPN is now betting on to attract young fans, while Tim Peterson talked to media execs’ kids to ask what they watch.
In Culture, I explored why this generation feels so anxious, while Danny Parisi wrote about esports mania and its effect on Gen Z fashion. Anna Hensel found out what the new teen jobs are (the days of summers spent at Dairy Queen are behind us) and we also took a deep dive into how Gen Z shops at malls. Jill Manoff, meanwhile, spent the afternoon at Brandy Melville, this generation’s Abercrombie & Fitch.
We’ve also conducted some original Generation Z research to ask them what influences them, why they want to be friends with their co-workers and what they expect from their bosses.
Youth have always had a massive impact on the mores and morals of society. This particular generation is no different. We hope you enjoy the 17th issue of Digiday Media magazine. As always, thank you for reading.