Gen Z, a social experiment gone wrong
Gen Z uniquely common
Gen Z, a 13-year-long spanning fever dream
Gen Z, when God fell asleep for a generation
Gen Z: The activity of a sloth combined with the hyperawareness of a rabbit
Gen Z: a billion problems and a total of zero solutions
Gen Z: if depression was a generation
Gen Z: the reason overpopulation is a myth
Gen Z: voted everyone’s least favorite generation 24 times in a row
Gen Z: No one’s favorite generation
Generation Z: you know, the gay one
Gen Z: the generation that hates itself so much, everyone does
We‘re Hypebeasts, TikTok Influencers, self entrepreneurs, depressed, cringe, boujee, Fuckboys/-girls, E-boys/-girls, Kweens and we’re always left on read.
Gen Z is the generation that rules the Internet und serves as the new revolutionaries of the boring and basic past. We hate ourselves and still have so much in common. But what makes us so unique and especially, is it even possible to sum up everything that defines us in one article?
The answer is the same as to if we think social media is good for our mental health: No. But let ́s not overthink and dive directly into the first topic...
As already mentioned, we all hate it, it destroyed our generation and perception of life and beauty and still we all use it. While our parents had technology such as the TV, radio or telephones as forms of communication, we mostly use Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and TikTok. Facebook is out since the millennials cringe about their photos with Amy Winehouse eyeliner and Twitter is for the unpopular and uninteresting opinion of megalomaniacal politicians. We are the first that made social media divers and sometimes even funny. Memes, Reels, TikToks (formerly known as Musically), YouTube and Discord. Everyone has pictures of themselves posted,
follows his favourite artists/comedians/influencers or beauty experts (short reminder: plastic surgery doesn’t count, Kylie).
Through Instagram, we find people, that are just like us; they have same taste in music, fashion or movies and can inspire us in one of those topics. We have access to the whole world and to defend ourselves from the common opinion of the older citizens: We actually use this possibility to inform ourselves about politics, climate change, etc. Still, we have to deal on a daily basis with false beauty standards, opinions so radical, they make us question our own and people that fake everything about their lives to make us think, that ours are less relevant.
Insecurity is a big thing in our generation and the whole “depression trend” doesn’t really help. Of course, it’s a common issue among teenagers to be insecure about certain things; it just depends how much we get confronted with it every day.
Even though we get so much different input, we never lose one of our most distinctive character traits: Tolerance. Equal rights, BLM, LGBTQAI+, sexual freedom and individuality. These topics are big on Instagram and everybody has an opinion on it, which is mostly shared through extremely informative story reposts. Whereas not even twenty years ago, coming out as gay or just being different than the rest was difficult, Gen Z does it‘s best to normalise accepting everybody the way they are. During lockdown, people started to make videos about their sexual orientation, individual fashion style, their music taste: Paul Anka had a comeback as the guy one,
whose shoulder everybody wants to put their head on, Kurt Cobain became, once again, the leader of the “alternative group” and most of us realised, that a little bi is never to deny. 70s/80s/90s and Y2K is back in our closets, the mullet is reborn and boys started to wear eyeliner and nail polish again (we love it).
Even though, we’ve already mentioned a lot of new trends that have been born with Gen Z, there’s one problem all generations have fought with: What do I wanna do when I’m a grown-up?
The modern world offers so many jobs (mostly titled with super fancy English names that not even the natives understand), which makes it hard to decide. Furthermore, the academic pressure has become huge over the last years. In Germany, e.g. It’s the Abitur:
Without it, most people might think you haven’t made it far enough in school to get a decent job, that you were lazy or just too dumb.
Complete bullshit, of course. Still, it affects us a lot and for most teenagers, the process of education is a topic connected with stress and negative feelings, even though that should absolutely not be the case.
And here’s where social media jumps in once again: Since being an Influencer or so-called “Instagram model” has become a real job, some kids started to think, that their life, the skills they have or their job aspirations are not enough. Influencers make us think, that they have the perfect life whereas everything else is boring or bourgeois.
Bourgeois is a very important word, because Gen Z does everything NOT to be this word. As already mentioned, we do everything to make ourselves differ from the rest.; especially the group of grown-ups who told us, that we shouldn’t. THE group of grown-ups that live the perfect bourgeois life and try to convey us that that’s what life’s all about. Being special is being weird and why would you want
to be judged when you could be liked by everybody? The other’s opinion is everything.
And here we go back to the influencers: Just as the Karen‘s out there, who really think that their neighbour Jeff cares about their front lawns, making everybody like them is everything their work consists of! (And amazing give-aways if you use their code, of course)
And that’s the reason why they and the whole social media word lies: There’s no such thing as the perfect life because everybody’s different! For some people, their way is the only one whereas someone else might choose a completely different part.
Understanding this is a very important step of growing up. It’s the moment when you understand that you, and only you, can decide what the perfect life means. It’s your choice and if you follow that choice, you are able to build exactly the life that fits to you, ‘cause that is what’ll make you happy in the end.
In conclusion, a life between overpriced Starbucks coffees, people in the park annoying you with their TikTok dances and real problems like finding your true self and choosing your own path in the middle of school, not really knowing what’s going on and whatever it is that you have to deal with: Being Gen Z is cool because we make it cool - no cap.
Julia Fischer, speaking for the Q2 English profile
headlines provided by Morten Müller