Gen Z

You must’ve come across the term Gen Z, whether it was calling them out for being rebellious and disrespectful or bold and unabashed. To begin with, Gen Z is the generation born after the millennials and before the alphas roughly between the years 1997-2010. But when we talk about Gen Z, it’s not the precision of years: it is about their majorly collective traits and thoughts. In our society, we mostly hear the elderly looking down upon this generation for being too loud and dauntless about their opinions. But not fitting in the overly judgemental and monotonous society isn’t that bad after all. After all these years of Independence, I find this generation to be the first one to be the flag bearers of acceptance and change collectively.

Unlike the previous generations who mostly accepted and followed the ideas that had been passed on to them, Gen Z taught themselves to step out of the societal norms that they don’t believe in or don’t find convincing enough. Along with sweeping out obsolete practices, what they’re doing most importantly is being more ‘Pro-choice’. Throughout all these years and generations Gen Z is the most accepting and yet the most opinionated at the same time.  Be it gender bias, different sexual orientations, mental health, unconventional career choices, religious malpractices, caste and racial discrimination, or even something as simple as clothing choices, Gen Z is not just aware of it but also has its stand.

Most of Gen Z wasn’t taught this growing up. With the changing world and exposure to newer ideas, they stood firm and unlearned the baseless societal norms, and opened their minds towards beliefs on more plausible grounds.

There are many factors for this generation being so independent at thinking, may it be the boon and boom of the internet or a comparatively free environment for expression but it doesn’t overshadow the fact that idealism and individuality is what makes them, them. Every coin has two sides; along with more freedom of expression, there also arrived a direct platter of digitization on their plates which brought the world and its different ideas closer. At the same time, growing up post the recession of the 1990s made Gen Z more aware of finances. When we say the society offers comparatively much more freedom of expression today, shouldn’t a rebel for a cause stand for his opinions regardless of the consequences?

The point here isn’t about the superiority or overpowering of any generation, every generation has had their struggles and privileges, it’s just the distress I feel about what Gen Z is most often called out for – being disrespectful and not inquisitive, unabashed and not bold, dependant on the internet and not well-read,  triggered and not awakening, everything but brave.

Gen Z still has a lot of growing up to do. But as they continue to step into adulthood, the signs point towards them growing into diligent, conscientious stewards of our world — by being socially-minded, independent thinkers, who understand their responsibility in shaping a more equitable future for years to come.