Being A Zoomer
Generation Z is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha.(Wikipedia: 2020)
The Common Mistake
First, let us clear this great confusion that may be flowing in your mind currently. The video below explains the difference between Millenials and Generation Z. Here are some of the differences that can be identified between these two generations, to help identify each as an individual set.
As a Kenyan Zoomer, growing up involved spending time in front of the television, using a desktop computer, laptop or mobile phone. This means taking in a large stream of information from all these interactions. These have forged these character traits that can be identified in most of the Zoomers. Let’s look at a few that have been identified in the video above plus other additional ones.
Large amount of information consumption over a lifetime has lead to the ability of Zoomers to adopt multitasking skills that enable them to get access to as much information as possible. This generation is addicted to information and it takes every single chance to get it. It is a common thing to find a zoomer watching a movie while chatting with friends and at the same time listening to music on the background. Mainstream media has become outdated too for them as a source of information and they have moved to other sources such as social media.
Twitter has become a major medium for news of events happening all over the world. It provides a platform for people to share views about trending topics around the world and at their geographical locations. With Facebook, we get a means to socialize with people from throughout the world. This a social connector which makes it easy to make friends and find people of similar interest. Whatsapp is a daily dose that this generation takes. This helps them to always maintain that information flow between those people whom they are close to. This includes family and friends. Through Whatsapp groups, they can make new friends.
Appreciation of Personal Communication
Due to the continuous interconnection between zoomers to each other, it has become of a major significance to have face to face conversations. There is that sense of appreciation for these face to face communications because of the rareness that comes with it. This is because the use of digital social platforms has become a common aspect of life.
Often do we find ourselves on the phone even during face to face conversations. Still applying the concept of multitasking where a Zoomer is listening to a conversation while checking out a meme or replying to a Whatsapp text message.
When someone says “BlueBand”, then you know they mean any margarine brand. A typical Kenyans will call all brands of toothpaste as “Colgate” and all brands of juice as “Quencher”. But, this is not the case for a majority of Zoomers. They have not been influenced by mainstream media as the previous generations, for example, the millennials. For them, the convenience of a product is more appreciated. That is why a Zoomer will be at ease of changing a supplier in case of malfunctioning goods.
Zoomers love to purchase items online and before purchasing anything, they are very likely to consult a friend and get opinions on the product and the best place to acquire the product. Their choices are widely influenced by facts gathered from various platforms like YouTube and Google Search Tool.
Education and learning, in general, is changing. The classroom setting is far much restrictive and less effective for Zoomers. It is always a norm in Universities and Colleges for Zoomers to consider the education system as a sham. This leads to them going to the biggest University ever built in this era. YouTube.
Millions of tutorials have been uploaded into YouTube. These tutorials serve as a classroom for zoomers who use them to learn new ideas and gain more knowledge in fields of interest. From personal experience, I had always found school boring until “I got hooked” to tutorials. You realize that you can have a choice to chose the teacher you want and make learning more fun. This concept of learning from YouTube makes Zoomers one of the most intelligent generations from the others.
(Generation Alpha. These are those in the birth range from 2012 to present) My 3-year-old niece shocked us all when she started speaking English in a house where the most used languages are Kiswahili and Luo. It was not a miracle, just the environment she has been exposed to. She has a habit of watching a Ukrainian YouTube channel called “Diana and Roma”. This is a kid’s reality show that features two siblings and their parents in there day to day lives. This continuous exposure to this type of content has led to her mimicking the characters including their language of communication which is English.
Social Media Influencers over Celebrities
A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others under their authenticity and reach. While a celebrity is a person who is well known and gets lots of public attention or attention from other people. Usually, a person becomes a celebrity from entertainment such as people who are in movies, people who sing songs, and someone who plays a sport. One major difference that you notice from these two definitions is that one is more authentic than the other. A social influencer is followed because of what they stand for while a celebrity is followed because of who they are or what role they have. A social influencer is more authentic than a celebrity who is defined by a role.
You will realize that people like Andrew Kibe and Xtian Dela will have a genuine follow from zoomers as compared to a celebrity who stars in a movie like Samantha Mugatsia(Kena in Rafiki). Especially since they only interact with the celebrity on special occasions, the movie, but with the social influencer on day to day, while on YouTube.
How can I talk about zoomers without talking about Memes? Wikipedia says, a meme is an idea, behavior, or style that spreads by means of imitation from person to person within a culture—often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme. It has almost become somehow a ritual for zoomers to post memes on their WhatsApp status and social media timelines. Those who have a daily supply of massive numbers of memes are called “Meme Lords”. These may just be the “Heroes” of this generation.
This is just an introduction to Generation Z’s life. You realize how unique this generation is and due to these, there is a lot of challenges that this generation is facing as they strive to adopt into the existing system laid by the previous generations. This was my introduction as I move on to a journey inside the life of a Zoomer.