Generation Z is the generation born after the Millennials. They are digital natives – growing up in a world where their options are limitless. The internet has played an enormous part in the accelerated education of this tech generation. They have learned to process enormous amounts of information. And they have learned to use the internet to dive deep on topics of interest.
Today they make up over a quarter of the world’s population. By 2020 they will account for 40% of the world’s consumers.
So what is their weakness?
Human interaction. I think we all agree, computers will be the driving force to solving problems going forward. That doesn’t make humans any less valuable. Complex problems require teamwork. And teamwork requires communication. Opportunity will be afforded to those who master communication. This means mastering empathy.
Empathy doesn’t just mean feeling someones pain. It means sensing another person’s emotions and responding in a relevant way. The challenge for Gen Zs is that advances in technology are stripping them of the very thing they need. Gen Zs would rather text than call. They’d rather watch from periscope than turn up in person. They’d rather tweet it than do it.
This is the new world. It why Gen Zs think they are connected, but don’t feelthey are connected. They crave human interaction. 2 million years of cavemen bonding in person can’t just be wiped. This need to bond is a part of our genetic make-up. When we don’t feel a part of the group we get anxious and afraid.
Only those Gen Zs who have the ability to put down the device and develop genuine empathy will have any chance of finding true fulfillment. Those who can’t will be stumped by Maslows hierarchy of needs. They will be forced to abandon their search for self-actualization (level 5) in favour of a quest for love and belonging (level 3). Except most won’t know what they are searching for. They’ll mistake a need for connection with a need for meaning and purpose. And so they’ll never search for their people. And so they’ll never find their people.