GenZ: we don’t want presents for Christmas, but understanding and attention – Teen –


Being born between 1997 and 2012 is a big challenge. This is what GenZ thinks: a generation that lives hand in hand with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), fear of being left out and anxiety about having to “always be on the same level” the expectations placed on her by society, starting with her family. There is a profound misunderstanding between what these children are, dream, live and want, and what adults think of them. Only by truly listening and understanding these 8.9 million Italians, with scientific analyzes of their desires, their needs and hidden trends, can we discover the false myths surrounding this generation, which, contrary to expectations or the story so far, shows a completely new face. GenZ in fact
they don’t feel responsible for the world they’ve been given, and for that reason it’s not their “duty” to be sustainable or specifically engage in the fight against climate change;
they don’t need superheroes to follow, but anti-heroes made of frailty and failure in which they can recognize themselves;
they create a lot of stories on social media, but they’re actually looking for stories they believe;
they are fighting bureaucracy – which they don’t understand – and looking for clear and simple information on how to approach life as adults.
Yet with all these frailties and seeming inconsistencies, they are able to pull down consumption and economies and completely change our tastes and our perception of the world.
Let’s give our children a gift and not only for Christmas: let’s put ourselves in their shoes. We give away objects or experiences, but they crave our attention and understanding.

A wish list of GenZ’s most authentic desires and hidden needs

Here is an honest wish list aimed at parents, which collects their most authentic desires and their most hidden needs, the result of studies by Zelo, a consulting company specialized in this age group:
“Don’t tell us no, but ask us why”: FOMO is not paranoia.
Unlike previous generations, GenZ has grown up constantly having to deal with the whole world that social media has made accessible and real without geographical or time constraints. A world that is, however, a ruthless, oppressive and lawless jungle, where influencers and creators launch “must haves” and show off their apparent star lives, full of experiences, stratospheric trips and dream homes. If you too can’t bend life and aren’t part of that world, it takes a while for self-confidence to lose its followers and for FOMO, fear and social anxiety of being excluded from experiences and events to take over. What to do? As a parent, don’t trivialize and learn to put into context the demands your children make of you that seem so pretentious or absurd to you. When they ask you at any cost to experience the Arabian Nights or stand in line to get “simple” sneakers, it’s important to understand that these requests come from the need to feel part of the hyper-competitive, which is a reality for them. This doesn’t mean complying regardless, but understanding and taking the time to teach them to navigate between real and digital life by offering support and understanding.
Don’t take out your anger on us.” generation with planetary concerns.
GenZs were born and raised bombarded with apocalyptic news about climate, wars, epidemics, and from the first day of kindergarten they were used to inhabiting this world and seeing it as a scarce and uncertain resource. For adults, eco-anxiety may seem like an absurd concept, but not for those born between 1997 and 2012: this generation perfectly understood that what happens on the other side of the hemisphere will sooner or later affect them too. So the fears are global and confidence in the future is lower and lower, causing demotivation because: “what can I do if the glaciers melt in a few years and we all die?”. Meanwhile, time passes and the children experience the days that pass with even more confusion and anxiety. What to do? Bring your children back to a clearer vision and understanding of context by being mindful of filtering the storm of information they are exposed to. Protect them with positive messages and learn to recognize their sensitivities, which are quite different from the sensibilities of adults and cannot be read through the same lens as you.
“Call us inconsistent!”: the hyperflexible generation.
If for all other generations consistency has been the norm for many years, for GenZ this is not the case. For example, they may be vegetarian but love sushi without feeling “incoherent”. They live multiple and multifaceted identities, fluid and changing just as their feed shows. Coherence does not belong to them, because they do not know rigidity of thought or action. What to do? Try to have the courage to take the same freedom as them and accept the challenge to think that the cohesion that is possible today is no longer the starting point. The previous world, the illusion of integrity, has betrayed them, so what can be done? Follow where a thousand pieces lead. Parents: Who tells you that your children cannot teach you a new way of life and living?
“Less stories and more stories”: a generation that needs an instruction manual.
The bias between GenZ and the adult world is growing, and it also applies to language at any level. Let’s start from an assumption that is not at all self-evident: GenZ people live in a world created for them by others, a world made up of aesthetics and indications, behaviors and rules to which they must adapt with the frequent problem of not being able to decipher and not finding themselves represented. They live in digital prairies and look for authentic and honest stories to find themselves, but they grow up in the paradox – for us adults – of creating stories to tell ourselves, often to live: the reworking of reality comes before, or at least simultaneously with life: it is a destabilizing experience from which they do not feel they can escape. They live with their smartphone in hand and book destinations that are not even known to travel agencies, but then they can get lost in an airport that they do not know because they do not know how to read the signs that they often trust. they are written in a confusing way. What to do? You as a parent have a key role to play. Translating adult life and its languages ​​with a “bridge” language index, becoming a storyteller capable of overcoming 15 seconds of social media and facilitating the understanding of a world that requires your children to be protagonists.
“We want teachers for adult life”: a generation that rejects bureaucracy (even at work). For people born before 1997, dealing with a tenancy agreement, employment contract or internship is common practice. This is not the same for GenZ, who, accustomed to the mood of social media and receiving information from containers and contexts where the language is informal and speak their own language, see anything related to bureaucracy and legalization as a big problem. Above all, the understanding that brings them back to the terrible feeling that they feel unable or unable to carry out the daily life that is so normal to us and which becomes a great existential drama for them. What to do? Empathize with their discomfort, teach them to limit problems with understanding and slowly become the first advocates of a revolution that can raise awareness in the adult world of the need to simplify, where possible, big “big words” that are often not necessary at all.
Cecilia Nostro, the founder of Zelo, says: “We often think that they are special, but we really asked ourselves, are there other ways of looking at the world? Perhaps we question ourselves so little because to question ourselves too much would cause all our certainties to collapse. GenZ teaches you that diversity, multiplicity, and multiple identities reign supreme for them. We adults are intrigued and scared at the same time because the truth is that for the first time we are facing those who are not afraid to be afraid, those who rebel against what they have always accepted and do not wait to grow up. relevant because it wants to be here and now. And who knows about tomorrow.”

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