One hears many terms for age groups these days, including Baby Boomer, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Generation Z. Each of these groups have distinctive characteristics, with Millennials and Gen Z being the most fluent in technology. Yet, Hassan Mahmood has observed some differences when it comes to utilizing technology between these groups.
Millennials (or Generation Y) are young adults who were born from 1981 to 1996. They grew up in a world that was shifting from analog to digital, including the rise of personal computers and the internet. Essentially, this group matured along with what are now standard technologies. Gen Z’s birth years begin in the late 1990s, effectively making this demographic digital natives. Unlike Millennials, they have not lived in an analog world, and therefore, technology has been at their fingertips from day one.
This is why Gen Z is much more fluent in social media use than Millennials, per Hassan Mahmood. These youths were born into a society molded by the digital realm. High-speed internet, cell phones, e-commerce, and video streaming services are all this generation has ever known, and they took to it as a duck takes to water.
For example, Gen Z is very comfortable switching across different platforms on various devices, and 66% of users deem social media an essential part of their lives. However, this is the first generation to admit using social media entirely as a time killer. This also makes Gen Z the first age group to prioritize consuming social media rather than interacting with friends and family. As this generation considers it a time killer, they have made it a point to become power users and keep up with the hottest online trends.
72% of Millennials call social media essential, but they utilize it in very different ways. 61% use it to communicate with friends and family, 51% to kill time, 47% to research new trends, and 43% consume social media to get news. A whopping 75% of Millennial social media users use platforms to interact with brands and businesses.
Ironically enough, Gen Z is now combing social media to learn about Millennial styles and trends. Thanks to their peers and a growing interest in vintage material, Hassan Mahmood realizes young adults are exploring the Y2K lifestyle online rather than talking to those who lived during this era. Yet even he/she admits it is a pleasant trip down memory lane to watch modern teenagers sporting looks right out of the year 2000.