Commentary

Slo-Mo Gen Z: They're Not That Hip To Digital

Millennials are as washed up as Baby boomers, judging by the plethora of reports on the cohort coming up behind them: Gen Z. But these studies show that much of what we believe about Gen Z is wrong.

Take the idea that these youngsters, who never used pens and legal pads, are the most digitally connected group, and are frightfully hip. A new study by Oooma claims to bust this myth.

It shows that most Gen Zers prefer the phone for communication with local businesses. Of those polled, 57% choose phone calls over electronic communication.

They also like the phone for making reservations with hotels, and for communications at work.

In contrast, social media is favored by only 17% of Gen Z, with 35% claiming that social is impersonal and slow.

And email? Don’t even ask: Baby boomers prefer it, but Gen Z likes it the least.

Then there’s the report by Techaeris, which says Gen Z is clueless when it comes to digital privacy. This group is “the most confident about keeping their online data safe,” with 40% saying they are not a target for hackers, and over 64% stating they have never been hacked.

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Still, that’s pretty sobering if 36% say they have been hacked.

But millennials, only one generation older, are obsessed with the subject. They are “always on the look for new software or devices that help them keep their personal information away from hackers,” the study notes. They have an average of 5-6 passwords.

Baby Boomers also seem more alert to the digital threat. They use an average of 10 different passwords to protect their online accounts, and that’s probably why they are “less of a target when it comes to hacker activities,” Techaeris notes. 

Of course, boomers tend to have fewer online accounts, so it is easier to keep track of them. Boomers are also more careful about opening emails.

Meanwhile, 85% of Gen Z — remember them? — are also worried about online security, putting them only behind the millennials.  

One thing Gen Z is concerned about is personalization. They are willing to share personal details for a tailored experience. In fact, they demand one.

Finally, a trait we can recognize.

Just a refresher: Baby boomers are ages 55+.

Gen Z is 35-54.

Millennials are 23-34.

Gen Z is 13-22.

 

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