The buzz word for the first 15 years of the 21st century was undoubtedly millennial but it’s 2018 and there’s a new kid on the block, generation Z. The fastest growing generation yet covers people born between 1995 and 2010 and as they reach college and voting age their opinions are beginning to count and they need to be counted.
Having come of age during one of the largest global recessions in history they are quite different to their older counterparts, millennials who were hugely influenced by the Celtic Tiger. While millennials were chided for being lazy and presumptuous a new generation was growing and they have no such assumptions. Generation Z don’t have the same expectations that millennials had. They know they live in a dog eats dog world and they’ve known it their whole lives. They are ready to fight for every opportunity.
One of the largest studies carried out on generation Z was known as generation Z goes to college by Corey Seemiller and Meghan Grace who found that they have a “change agent mentality”. They efficiently recognize problems and consistently find changes that need to be made. But they don’t trust their government. It isn’t that they’re not politically inclined they simply see too much fault in the political system to believe in it’s ability to enact change. They care about social issues such as education, employment and equality and they don’t see that reflected in the government.
With the majority of the generation Z being children of generation X it makes sense that they would share many of their political views. Having grown up in the houses of the leaders of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland and those who pioneered for globalization it comes as no surprise that generation Z would be socially liberal on issues such as marriage equality or the legalization of gay marriage.
Unlike millennials generation Z are considered to be fiscally conservative and socially liberal so while they might vote labour or sinn fein based on their political views they would veer right when it comes to the economy. They have seen too much economic loss to repeat the mistakes of the past.
But what do we really think? Being seventeen years old I am a member of generation Z and to be honest I am sick of my generation being underestimated and undermined. It’s time that people finally realize teenagers do care about politics. We are directly affected by it and have almost no say in how it plays out. This inequality is extremely frustrating and I hope to do something to remedy it. Which brings me to this site that you are currently on, where I hope to explore what generation Z thinks about current events.