Internet technology has become an essential part of everyday life for those born between 1996-2000, otherwise known as Generation Z. This generation is highly dependent on the internet for social, economic and personal needs. Without the internet, Generation Z would struggle with basic day-to-day tasks considering the relationship they have with technology and the need to constantly be online.
The internet connects people in ways that go beyond face-to-face communications and has created a space for people to be active online, buy any product imaginable, and build an online presence. A survey taken by the Center for Generational Kinetics, commissioned by WP Engine, stated that Gen Z will be the primary online consumers by the year 2020. This survey also states that Gen Z would rather have unlimited access to the internet than receive a college degree. Being, buying and building were the three key aspects that came from the survey results of how Gen Z uses the online and technological world.
According to the above survey, more than half of those part of Gen X cannot go beyond four hours without the internet and being “online.” The “smart” capabilities on phones and various wearable technological devices have made this generation fully reliable on the internet and its functions. Generation Z has grown up with personalized advertisements and are willing to trade privacy for tailored experiences and custom internet results. Gen Z have also stated that the people who manage and build the internet are thought of as more important than political leaders. The infatuation and need for the online world takes priority in the lives of Gen Z and their successors.
Those in Generation Z buy a significant amount online, but according to the survey, they prefer to buy from businesses that have both an online and physical presence. This helps with the company’s credibility and trustworthiness with this generation. Also, Gen Z prefers for a company to be associated with a social cause and are more likely to buy from a company that supports a charity. When building online, Gen Z is focused on entrepreneurial advances and uses the internet to start new businesses and maintain a positive cyber reputation.
The need to be constantly entertained is also a common fascination with Generation Z. Whether this be through news sources or popular websites, Gen Z needs to be amused when consuming information and scrolling the internet. The attention span of this generation is low given the relationship they have made with never-ending sources of information. To grasp the attention of Gen Z’s, the rhetoric being produced needs to be entertaining.
The future, as stated by Gen Z, will contain a surge of augmented and virtual reality, face and fingerprint recognition, and artificial intelligence in all aspects of our lives. The merging of human and digital experiences will be the next step in expanding the internet revolution.
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