Are you born between 1995 and 2009?
Our family skipped this generation so I am no expert (although we were reasonably close at either end) so please take these as whimsical reminiscences and evidence of a communication divide.
Can you remember the days when we looked forward to owning our own Motorola phone? Sleek – black – snazzy – the duck’s guts of modern day wizardry a few years ago. Gone! Gen Z have never heard of Motorola.
Can you remember getting the film for your camera at Kodak? Can you remember getting it developed at the local Chemist and opening the envelope outside (complete with negatives – just in case you wanted multiple copies of the photos of grandma’s thumb on the lens in front of the Three Sisters at Katoomba at sunset – that one in a million shot?!?). Remember returning to the Chemist because they had accidently given you some random’s photograph of their prize cantaloupe by mistake? Gone! Chemists no longer turn negatives into photos and Kodak went bankrupt after missing the digital revolution. Gen Z has never heard of a “Kodak moment” or even negatives.
Who threw out their LP Records so they could get the latest Cassette Tapes? Who then threw out the cassette tapes so they could buy CDs? How many Gen Zs own CDs? You might be surprised in the answer. Hint: Ask them about Spotify where they can listen to anything by anyone from anywhere at any time. Gen Z may have never heard of LPs or Cassettes.
Remember the days we used to visit Blockbuster to pick up the latest VCR or Betamax movie. There were movies galore/popcorn/chips/snow cones/pies/sauce – everything our hearts could desire for a great night in. Blockbuster stores were here to stay – a license to print money. Wrong! Betamax is gone; VCRs are gone; Blockbuster is gone (our local store is now a Rashays).
And what about the information and giggles that you used to get from the latest copy of Reader’s Digest? Also gone. Probably out back in the garage with the Encyclopedias that you purchased at great cost 30 years ago. Gen Z has never heard of Reader’s Digest or Encyclopedias.
I can remember saying to my own Gen Y kids – “You will need to study hard in Mathematics and learn to do all of this without a calculator because you won’t be able to carry one around wherever you go.” Warning Readers. Don’t say this. A polite person from Gen Z will just look at their calculator phone app or Google “calculator” and they are ready to go.
Not everything is rosy for Gen Z, however. Claire Madden describes their circumstance as being faced with a great “Breadth of Communication but at the expense of Depth of Relationships”. There is an increase in sedentary lifestyle – Bigger Houses and Smaller Blocks; Play Stations and not Bikes or Footys. She talks about the bombardment of information on Gen Z senses and their “Continuous Partial Attention” It is a new generation with new challenges.
By way of balance, I will finish with a special message to Gen Z (given that they have never heard of many of the things written above) – So Gen Z – “wud/irl/rn. Im not salty or smh over this lit WW article. Oops gtg. Pos”.
Make sense? Missed a bit? OK….
Just ask Siri.