Recently, Barna and Impact 360 Institute co-presented their research findings on “Generation Z,” those born between 1999-2015. They asked this particular group of young people about faith, home life, relationships, technological habits, political beliefs, and much, much more.
They also released their Generation Z report, which I am excited to dive into.
Generation Z is fascinating. They are the first real “digital natives” in human history, never knowing a world without interactive screens, social media, high-speed internet, and Google. In their youth, they have already experienced significant life events like the dawn of Facebook (2004) and the Apple iPhone (2007), the housing crisis of 2008, the election of this nation’s first black president, and the legalization of gay marriage (2015).
Generation Z has had the potential to consume more bits of information from a broader spectrum of sources and mediums than any other generation in history because of the internet. They get their news, not from CNN, NBC, or their local newspaper, instead, from Twitter and Facebook. They have been influenced by Pewdiepie, Casey Neistat, and Liza Koshy, some of the most popular content creators on Youtube, as much as Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Brad Pitt, and other A-list celebrities.
Generation Z is approximately 70,000,000 people, more substantial than their predecessors, the Millennial generation. And the oldest of them are now just entering their college years. This means we are now about to experience the beginnings of their tremendous potential. Soon, they will become the influencers and activators of our modern cultural milieu. They will rise to become the leaders of the various sectors of our society. They will be the inventors and creators of the next Facebook or Youtube.
I am excited to learn as an educator and minister about our new overlords. This generation, more than any previous, will be better equipped to make a tremendous change in our world and wield technology and communications more skillfully. But what about their beliefs? What about their faith? What about their values? I am looking forward to how the next 20 years are shaped.