On this episode of Mindshare's Culture Vulture Live, it’s time for an update on Generation Nice – something we also talked about on an episode last year. Gen Nice is what we’re calling Gen Z, our most diverse, largest living generation. They’re not thrill-seekers or rule-breakers. Instead they’re risk adverse, shy and frugal.
The world view of this group is defined by the Great Recession. Watching Millennials, who carry an average $42,000 in debt (according to Northwestern Mutual) has made quite an impression. Those in college are less willing to take on student loan debt. And for first jobs, they prefer traditional employment more than entrepreneurial highs and lows.
Yet according to research from Common Sense Media (published in the Wall Street Journal) more than two-thirds of Gen Nice would rather talk online than in person. We see them juggling multiple Instagram identities, joining House Party and singing along with TikTok. Snapstreaks can last 100 days or more. And many learn new skills by watching videos online.
But they also admit to feeling isolated and have begun to reprioritize. In research from VJR Consulting, more than half say their devices are a distraction and they should be more “in the moment.”
This shift from online into the real world creates high rates of anxiety and depression. But Gen Nice is self-aware enough to realize that communication skills and public speaking are the two things they most need to succeed. They’re not waiting for their first job to learn, but actively seeking it out during college. The bridge is a refreshing set of influencer role models who they connect with on a deeper level, thanks to their approachable online personas and content.
Growing social practicality has made Gen Nice resilient and empathetic. They’re breaking down stigmas around race, gender and mental health. Eighty-eight percent are optimistic about their place in the world and the future they’ll help shape, according to Pearson and Vision Critical.
To engage these change-makers, think about how to shift your approach. Understand the values of these potential new customers and discover how your workplace can help Generation Nice navigate their complex entrance into adulthood. Show them how to Keep Calm. Carry On. And Get Ahead.
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