Yesterday I was sitting down to lunch with many teachers from my summer job and I struck up the conversation about the social habits of this summer’s high school students. Current high school students are all part of the “iGeneration”, also known as Generation Z; this generation spans from persons born in 1990-2001. We both noted the severe lack in social skills, phobias of non-textual communication, and the extreme passive-aggressive nature of our students and other iGeneration persons. Even in my generation (Generation Y) I have noted some of the same tendencies in peers but nothing to such the extreme the iGeneration displays. With some of these tendencies being the same it could be argued that this is not a generation trait but rather a societal trait. For now I will just be talking about the social habits of the iGeneration.
The social skills of the iGeneration are appalling to most older generations. Heirarchies of respect and politesse have all but dissolved in this generation. This generation has little concept of titles, such as Mr, Mrs, Professor, Dr., etc. In the iGeneration the hierarchy is destroyed and surnames are almost non-existent; all different types of persons have been introduced to them on first-name basis. Students forgo all politesse in introductions and all forms of correspondance. High school teachers receive blunt, single sentence emails such as “why did u give me a c.” With authority figures this generation is scornful. Respect is no longer given by title or age, but earned by good impressions and experiences of personal concern. A positive outcome of this is that respect is earned and the iGener will fiercly defend and love the person they respect.
Perhaps I will post more later about my thoughts of the iGeneration. In the meantime, feel free to comment about the up-and-coming generation!