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“Generation Z is finally — and, it seems, suddenly — becoming a topic of popular conversation. While generations are mutually constructed fictions, not natural phenomena, Gen Z’s members are most often understood to have been born between 1997 and 2012, making them 7 to 22 years old today. In January, the Pew Research Center defined its range; in March, the New York Times ran an ambitious multimedia survey of “America’s Most Diverse Generation”; Newsweek devoted this week’s magazine to dissecting the Zs.
As I rejoice alongside my fellow millennials that a new generation is on the verge of absorbing the bumbling intergenerational analysis older media makers have been all too happy to offer (we’d prefer they offer benefits), the nascent narrative about Gen Z — while so far kinder than it’s been to us — seems to miss the extraordinary capacity and creativity of this generation.
The thesis of Newsweek’s Gen Z issue is that this generation is a snooze. “If ‘entitled’ is the most common adjective, fairly or not, applied to millennials, the catchwords for Generation Z are practical and cautious,” one Newsweek piece states. “According to the career counselors and experts who study them, Generation Zs are clear-eyed, economic pragmatists.” Plagued by anxiety, they’re playing small, shelving their dreams, looking down.
Older generations can keep their pockets glued shut, their heels dug in, and their fingers waving if they want to. I’m with the kids.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"The likely successor to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Boris Johnson, has plans to subsume the government department overseeing development aid into the foreign office, effectively eliminating it. That will destroy a post-Brexit United..."
"Gerard Baker, editor-at-large at the Wall Street Journal (no reflexively anti-Trump publication) recently wrote a piece decrying Donald Trump and his foreign policy as a fount of erratic unpredictability. This essay will give the counter view...."
"On Wednesday, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar announced that she will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming weeks. Omar will be accompanied by Rep. Rashida Tlaib. The two freshman congresswomen have become a focal point of..."
"Netflix may have lost US subscribers for the first time since it began making its own shows, but that didn't stop the streaming giant from dropping new figures about how many people are sucked into its Adam Sandler vortex. (Spoiler: More than..."
"A few years ago, Amy Balliett, CEO of a Seattle-based design and marketing firm, noticed that as the work week slogged on, her employees’ energy and productivity wilted. “That would slump to such an extent that the same task on Monday would..."
"Over the last few days the #faceappchallenge has taken over social media. This “challenge” involves downloading a selfie-editing tool called FaceApp and using one of its filters to digitally age your face. You then post the photo of your wizened..."
"Although there are plenty of irrational aspects to life in modern America, few rival the odd fixation on lawns. Fertilizing, mowing, watering — these are all-American activities that, on their face, seem reasonable enough. But to spend hundreds..."
"Can a book change the way we think? I don’t mean that in the sense of a reader’s opinion or ideology shifting—of course the right literary work can do that. But can a book rewire the brain itself, literally changing the way one particular mind..."
"It’s our job to let kids know we see and hear them, but we’re not necessarily going to solve siblings’ conflicts for them (or else they never get the practice). When squabbles start, imagine you’re a sportscaster and describe what you see in..."
"Magali Trejo-Martinez, a 22-year-old living in Salem, Oregon, recently went on a date that was rather uninspiring. “I had dinner, had a couple margaritas, and then went home,” is how she recapped the evening. This outcome wasn’t entirely..."
"The first lunar landing was many things — a D-Day-like feat of planning and logistics, a testament to the power of man's will, an ostensible propaganda coup for NATO. It was also, I think, one of the most misunderstood events in the history of..."
"THE FIRST TIME Bernie Sanders ran for president, he didn’t talk much about being Jewish. In fact, he didn’t talk much about himself at all. His 2016 primary campaign, like his whole political career, was relentlessly focused on one topic: income..."