OP-ED: DEBUNKING GENERATION Z STEREOTYPES

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OP-ED: DEBUNKING GENERATION Z STEREOTYPES

Typically thought of as the

Typically thought of as the "phone obsessed generation," Gen Z pushes beyond the stereotype given.

Gwyneth Katker

Typically thought of as the "phone obsessed generation," Gen Z pushes beyond the stereotype given.

Gwyneth Katker

Gwyneth Katker

Typically thought of as the "phone obsessed generation," Gen Z pushes beyond the stereotype given.

Jessica Ty, Photographer

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Our generation, Generation Z, has been labeled with many stereotypes, the most common being that we’re lazy and technology dependent. However, as society advances, we are learning to adapt with these developments. Our generation should not be classified as “phone-addicted,” nor lazy.

“Even though our generation could be portrayed by many people as being glued to our devices, it’s not really our fault as technology is evolving. With the rise of new technology it’s almost expected that we will be curious about these new phones,” said junior Suhas Dhanyamraju.

Although our generation has a stereotype of always being on our phone, many teens argue it’s because of our desire and passion for staying connected with the world. Gen-Z students have led the world in using social media to effect positive change, start conversations, and learn more. This curiosity results in our generation’s constant use of technology for communication and research. We have become more interested in current events due to the easy access of obtaining information through widely known search engines, such as Google. As a result, students’ phone addiction can be attributed to a desire of learning new information.  

“It is sometimes hard to disconnect from all of the information you have at your fingertips. We didn’t have these phones all the time, but now we see them in everyone’s hands and it’s easy to slap on a label without considering the greater impact to it,” said biology teacher Mrs. Kathleen Leitz.

In fact, although Gen-Z is frequently blamed for their phone usage, the phenomenon of technology is evident across all generations. Even the parents of Gen-Z kids find it hard to disconnect. They have become hooked to this new idea that they can post pictures of their lives and family on Facebook while keeping their friends updated.

“Adults today are more addicted to their phones than they were [before] because of the rise of new technology and its prominence in this era,” said Dhanyamraju.

Not only are we sometimes classified as technology-dependent, but some also believe that our generation is lazy or entitled. However, there are some students who act independently and attempt to competitively achieve their goals in life. This is especially necessary in an age when college tuition is rising and jobs become increasingly competitive. Students today are striving to fulfill their dreams for the future and also stay active within the community. Previous generations, such as Baby Boomers and Generation X, are quick to judge because they had different experiences throughout their childhood and societal expectations were different.

Junior Farangizkhon Saidakhrolova states “We’re [considered] lazy because we ‘get everything handed to us,’ which isn’t true. Our lives are basically the same as theirs, if not [even] harder. Schooling has changed and getting into good colleges and leading a life for yourself has been made harder so it’s not fair for parents or grandparents to call us lazy when their life is not comparable to now.”

Our constant engagement with technology should be accepted, rather than criticized, and we should embrace the technologies of a rapidly-developing society. As the world is changing, our generation is at the forefront of building inclusivity, tolerance, and social change–all at our fingertips.

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