5 Simple Communication Tips Learned from “Generation Z”

Communication expectations differ across generations.

I used to assume when someone was looking down at their mobile device screen, they were interacting with other people or checking to see what others were doing.

However, recently when checking my children’s mobile devices they are either looking up more information about what they are experiencing at that moment or teaching themselves how to do something new via short videos.

When sending them messages on their mobile devices; they respond face to face either with FaceTime or in person.

I only receive text messages from them after they have first attempted to reach me via FaceTime or Video Chat.

Defined as those born between 1996 and 2010, generation Z outsizes the 60 million millennials by a cool one million, making this toddler-to-teen army (born between 1996 and 2010) the next big wave.

Simple Communication Tips:

Gen Z doesn’t know a time without the internet, and it shows. They favor streaming content in snack-sized bites, like that offered through YouTube, and consume it mostly on their phones and computers.

They can teach us how to balance technology with our need for impactful communication.

  1. Creativity: Spend more time improving skills. Statistics show, 80 percent of Gen Z considered being creative an important aspect of their lives. A quarter of Gen Z is posting videos every week. They are actually creating artifacts of their generation. They spend half of their time working on creative skills, whether it’s posting videos or learning how to design things in Photoshop.
  2. Social Media: Less public personal life sharing. Research has shown, this young group favors more personal, immediate social platforms like Snapchat rather than broadcasting their lives widely and publicly for all to see through the like of Facebook and Twitter. Only 49% of Gen Zers agree with the statement “Social media is an important part of my life”
  3. Unplugging: Seeing facial expressions and body language matters. All that screen time has made them long for an old-fashioned mode of communication: face to face. Similar to the Silent Generation, they prefer in-person communication. Having smartphones in hand 24/7 has taught them the value of a human connection and having a real conversation — no emoticons necessary.
  4. Influencers: Be the change you want to see. More than any previous generation, Gen Z is distinguished by its members’ ability to elevate themselves as influencers.

“Gen Z uses social networks to achieve influence and get total celebrity status. The wall separating them from being influencers has been completely taken down.” –Victor Pineiro, senior vice president of social media at Brooklyn-based digital agency Big Spaceship, told CBS News

5. Diversity: Get rid of general labels and outdated stereotypes. Members of Gen Z do not identify themselves in clearly defined categories, but rather a much more fluid sense of themselves. Gen Z will be the most diverse generation to date.

How do you find a balance between being plugged in and communicating with others?

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Originally published at www.citybornsouthernliving.com on November 8, 2017.