Generation Z and Proud

How we truly feel about every stereotype put upon us

Generation+Z+and+Proud

drawing by Melina Tripoli

Melina Tripoli, Staff Writer

Entitled.  Overly sensitive.  Simple-minded zombies glued to our phones.

There are so many stereotypes about Generation Z that you’d think you would know who we are without ever talking to us.

Let’s be honest, though. Many of those stereotypes are sweeping generalizations. So I figured I’d give you an inside look of what our generation is actually like and help you see past the stereotypes that are put upon us.

Our generation is perhaps best known for having grown up with technology. Fun fact: we were sometimes called the iGeneration.

We’re known as the kids who are obsessed with our phones. If we don’t have our phones with us 24/7, we wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves, right?. We’re the teenagers who are obsessed with updating our lives on social media and making ourselves look perfect, or so they say.

But let’s not rush to judgment. We can, in fact, leave our phones alone. Also, let me blow your mind by saying this: we know how to talk to each other and have conversations face-to-face.

Stereotyping probably happens to every generation when they are young, but right now we’re the ones experience it and it is infuriating.”

Of course, with technology we can be connected to the real world faster than other generations have been in the past. We’re more aware of what’s going on and want to voice our opinions. Many times, though, we are scolded and told we’re too young and don’t know anything. We’re told by adults that we need to be more active and not be scared to say what we want, but how can we feel like we are being heard when so many tell us we’re too naive to understand?

We are teenagers who live in a world that has been destroyed by past generations, and we’re trying to fix it so we have a future. Like I mentioned before, we’re aware of our surrounding environments. The earth is dying because no one in power is taking effective action to stop global warming. Women are told that it’s their fault when unspeakable events happen to them. We have a president who likes to fight through Twitter. What’s next on this list that we’re told we don’t understand?

Stereotyping probably happens to every generation when they are young, but right now we’re the ones experience it and it is infuriating. The amazing statements “Oh, you’re too young to understand” and “This doesn’t affect you, you’re still young” are said to us too often and they’re unfair.  Of course, there are occasions when adults are right in saying we don’t understand, but frequently they are wrong.

My favorite thing adults say to me is this: “Back when I was a kid, we entertained ourselves by going outside and throwing around the ball with our friends.” Newsflash — Gen Z appreciates the outdoors, too! When we were younger, we would go outside and play kickball, run around and play tag, play basketball in our driveways, and even ride our bikes around the neighborhood. Then, when it got dark, we would beg our parents to let us stay out and give us some flashlights, so that we could play ghosts in the graveyard with our neighbors.

There are many unfair stereotypes placed upon us, but there are still some positive ones that shine through. It’s true when others say that Gen Z is more accepting of change. Just look at everything that has happened with the LGBTQ+ community, the Me Too movement, equal rights marches, gun-control walkouts, and countless others. We have begun so many improvements and still have so many more to go. When a change is necessary, we are the ones who make it happen.

The influences of others have made us ashamed to be a part of Generation Z. Yet we’re the generation that is using our voices. We’re the generation fighting for justice. And we’re the generation that is unapologetic for who we are and what we believe. We use our voices to be heard and to build the future we want to have.

So don’t be ashamed to be apart of Gen Z — be loud and proud. I know I am.