Generation Z tweenies and teenies are too busy on the internet to revolt says new JWT report

New generations are a terrifying thing (at least to older people) but the so-called Generation Z (people born after 1995) seem more like amiable aliens according to a new US and UK study by JWT.

Compared to the hairy monsters and social revolutionaries of the 1960s and 70s and the punks of the early 80s this lot are to be found poring over their latest mobile device in preference to more traditional activities like beating up pensioners and pinching policemen’s helmets.

They’re addicted to gadgets, still chiefly desktops and laptops but, increasingly, smartphones and tablets. But they still watch loads of telly (mostly on old-fashioned boxes in the living room). Games and music gadgets are losing ground to smarts. Roughly half of them prefer to shop online.

What they really, really don’t want to happen is be denied access to their gadgets, which many of claim to be the easiest and safest way to socialise. Girls feel this even more strongly than boys, And pre-teens are determined to share this brave new world although they’re supposed to be excluded from things like Facebook (over 13s only supposedly). But many find a way around it.

They’re very aware of the their parents’ finances, in part because the parents pay for the gadgets. And nearly 80 per cent are worried about the economic situation, in particular eventually being able to get a decent job. Without which, of course, you can’t afford an iPad.

None of this is very surprising but does represent, if you like, a sort of triumph of capitalism. The world belongs to the gadget makers.

The report, Gen Z: Digital in their DNA, was written by Will Palley for JWT director of trendspotting Ann Mack.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.