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Whether you’re a Baby Boomer, Gen X’ers, Millennial, or iGen’er, you belong to a specific generation with particular characteristics. As an iGen’er, it’s ironic that this article is being typed and published in an electronic format. Let’s get into it.
The iGeneration, also known as Generation Z, includes anyone born between 1995-2012. IGen’ers follow Millennials and come before Gen Alpha. IGen is considered to be the most technologically advanced and electronic generation yet to exist. This generation was the era of the Internet, smart phones, and social media, leading to the name, “iGen”. The name iGen comes from iPhone and iPad, both of which relate to new technology.
People born in the iGen are living in a much different generation than Millennials. In reality, iGen is different from every past generation. A huge characteristic of this generation is diversity and the acceptance and normalization of things that may be considered “different”. The iGen includes a diverse group of people, regarding sexual orientation, race, politics, and more.
Along with diversity being just one characteristic of the iGen, another characteristic is how digitally advanced this generation is. IGen’ers were born during the age of technology. Instead of socializing face to face, iGen’ers communicate through the screen. Kenzie Conger, an iGener at Hubbard High School, says “I think I’m on my phone more than I’m off of it. My friends and I will be Snapchatting each other back and forth while we’re in the same room.” Some may say that social media and smartphones have caused a lack in social skills for this generation.
There do appear to be other negatives attached to this “plugged in” generation. “Jean Twenge PhD, author of the book iGen, examined the exhaustive research that looked at the experiences of 8 million adolescents from 1976 to 2016 and discovered that compared with previous generations, IGen’ers: grow up more slowly, get their driver’s licenses later, value feeling ‘safe’ both physically and emotionally, are less likely to work in high school, spend more leisure time alone texting or online,” to name a few.
Positives, however, are still apparent. Compared to the debt-inducing millennials, the iGeners are somewhat responsible when it comes to the economy and financing. This may be due to the fact that many schools now require a financial literacy course. Jaden Johnston, a senior who attends Hubbard High School says, “I’ve been saving and investing my money since I was 13. I had my own business and I did my research, and my parents helped me do something smart with my money.” Perhaps IGen’ers don’t want to repeat the mistakes of Millennials.
IGen’ers are much different than other generations, and they may have caused the changes that were much needed in society, albeit at an interpersonal cost, yet they are still changing themselves. Hopefully, future generations continue to grow and evolve as much as the iGeneration has.