My fellow Millennials, the GenZ’s are ready and they are waiting for us
It is no secret that GenZs are here, and their expectations of the digital experience will transform #communication mediums, and channels that companies will use to engage with this cohort. For instance, while #millennials rely on mobile devices, GenZ's have more digital freedom. They appear to prefer the voice and video mediums and to communicate using images, memes, and gifs. All of which may present unique #AI challenges that companies should prepare for since by 2025 they’ll be one-fifth of the U.S. labor force.
My first realization of the #GenZ convergence was when my three teenage nephews came to visit me for the weekend. Since teenagers love the mall, that was our first stop. As soon as their feet touched the mall entrance, all three nephews roamed in different directions. Although I am not adapt to my nephews being full-blown teenagers, I gave them their space to explore. After an hour passed, I tried to call each of their cell phones but I didn’t get an answer. I panicked, they were in my care, and I lost them. I went to the security desk to ask for an amber alert lockdown request, but since they were ages 14, 15, and 16 this was typical behavior of a teen and no cause for alarm yet.
As my head slowed from spinning, I received a text, from a random phone number, “We are ready meet at ⭐️bucks.” I frantically approached Starbucks and saw the “Three Musketeers” jostling and socializing and my face must’ve spoken for itself because they came to a standstill as I asked, “Why didn’t any of you answer your overpriced cell phones!?” They each gave the other a slow stare and my oldest nephew, Donte answered, “We left our phones at your house.” I asked why on earth didn’t they tell me, and I would have turned the car around, and went back for the “forgotten” phones. Then they admitted the unthinkable, “No, we left them on purpose. We were going to the mall together, so we didn’t need them.”
Pause, how were they still breathing without their cell phones for this long? When I don’t feel the weight of my cell phone on me, I am frozen in my tracks and frantic until I find my lifeline, the cell phone. At that moment, I had to remind myself that a new generation is here, with different behaviors. Us millennials are tech dependent, specifically on mobile devices while GenZs are the real digital natives, genuinely tech-savvy.
So, my nephews knowingly went in public without a communication device. In a GenZ's world, the internet is always readily available so they have no reason to be skeptical about access to it. When my nephews were ready to leave the mall, they confidentlywalked into the Apple store at a mall they never visited before, logged into their email accounts, registered for a free Google phone number, and sent me a text message saying...THEY were ready and waiting for ME. Now, I can say from experience that yes, GenZ’s are ready and waiting for us.