When members of the Silent Generation (born 1925-1945) were roughly college-age, the telephone, the television and even the microwave were becoming technological staples of daily life. Just as we pull out our phones, they had their own addictions. Why are we the “lazy” generation? Over and over again, Generation Z has been criticized for having fast information at its disposal, so much so that we are thought to be unmotivated and fail as contributors to society. I do not think that this stereotype is valid and actually believe that it is a product of the opportunities and resources acceded to us as children. It is not that we are “lazy,” we have just grown up differently in a far more fast-paced environment than those before us.
Thanks to innovators before us, computers and especially Internet use have become elements crucial to staying current and learning, something we did not choose as we entered school. We were thrown into an already-changed world by the time we were in elementary school with curriculums including computer lab and typing classes. Using this technology became second-nature in the classroom and made our lives easier. Older people make the point that when they were in school they did assignments by hand and research with books and physical sources. Although this may make it seem as though they did more work, in reality they simply did more tedious work, rather than more research.
With a more efficient way to find information, we can write better papers with more possible sources, providing us time to be analytical rather than to just report the facts. I myself prefer to read on paper, but will still defend using the Internet and technology as a means to get information if it allows greater efficiency. People have seemingly become smarter with more resources, and college acceptances have become tougher than they were before. It isn’t all about “who you know” anymore, and our generation has had to face the harsh realization that test scores and unprecedented amounts of studying, especially utilizing this new technology, are what is going to give you a boost in the competition of academics.
To add to being deemed a generation of “shortcuts,” we’ve been to blame for social media and its addictive nature. Although it has been proven to distract people from the “real” world around us, it is a far better form of communication than the generations before us had. I can now post pictures for my family and friends at home to see, while our parents were lucky to get to talk with their loved ones a few times a week on the phone. Beyond just showing what you are doing with other people, we and the millenials before us have seized the business skills that come with social media, like graphic design, advertising and the skill of appealing to an audience for profit. Young people are becoming even more entrepreneurial, contrary to the stereotype that we do not work hard. Jobs that once had a safety net, like law and finance, have become vastly computerized, so having the skills to create some other way for yourself is crucial to surviving in this new world.
We’ve followed the example of a struggling millennials who were faced with job shortages due to the baby boomers generation. We’ve had to adapt to an environment with fewer jobs and more pressure, but have been called “soft,” “sensitive” and “lazy.” I feel that the anger that stems from being accused of such lack of motivation and passion will drive us to invent and create in order to fix a flawed world we’ve been born into.