EXCERPTED from We Are Generation Z Introduction

We are not pessimistic, and we are not isolationist. Contrary to popular belief, we are not always staring at our phones, and we actually enjoy the company of people. We just interact differently. Most of us have a pretty good relationship with our parents. Especially given the economy, we are accustomed to living with grandma, grandpa, older siblings, and our parents all in the same household.

We are also very tolerant. We may not agree with everyone’s views, but we accept them. Our attitudes have changed, and we are now more concerned about the motives of governments, corporations, and other groups in power than we are of an individual with opposing beliefs. Issues of gender and race are less important to us simply because our perspective is that they should not be issues at all.

Since we are closely connected with people and cultures from around the world, we appreciate the elements that are common to all humans. Barriers such as language are just another firewall that can eventually be taken down to reveal a humanity that is craving the same things—peace, love, happiness, and security.

With Generation Z now poised to reach adulthood, our impact in the global arena will soon be felt. But what makes us tick? What are the issues that matter to us? The answers to these questions lie in understanding how our identity is forming, how our attitudes are taking shape, and how our perspectives are developing. As I explore these topics, many of the issues I discuss are enduring issues of humanity that each generation before me has addressed. However, my peers and I are growing up in a hyperconnected world where the rapid proliferation of technology and global access to information are influencing our attitudes and perspectives like no generation before us.