Gen Z

Joe Moran writes:

Post-millennials can quickly convey their pleasure or displeasure through memes. They use emojis as a ‘social lubricant’ and bracket words with asterisks and tildes for emphasis and irony. Whether they write ‘k’ or ‘kk’ to mean ‘OK’ is charged with meaning. The first is curt; the second is cheerful and casual, a way to temper the brusqueness of the single letter. These tonal shadings matter because post-millennials like to state their intentions clearly. Self-labelling, especially of fine-grained sexual and gendered identities, has become an ‘imperative’. They think it important to be themselves, to admit their struggles and vulnerabilities, to say what they mean. In the iGen Corpus, a digital data bank compiled by Ogilvie of seventy million words used by post-millennials, terms such as real, true, honest and fake occur far more often than in general language use.

According to Katz et al, in a world where so many things compete for their attention, the students they interview worry about allocating their time efficiently. They dislike email, finding it laborious compared to texting and messaging. ‘If it’s a professor you don’t have a close relationship with, you have to say, hi professor whatever, I’m in your class or I’m interested in this blah blah blah,’ one student says. ‘You have to kind of frame it.’ Several of the students surveyed watch recorded lectures at triple speed – not just to save time, but to help them concentrate. And yet nearly all the students interviewed for the book say that their favourite mode of communication is ‘in person’.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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