An article entitled “Generation Z” published on the website of Spain’s El Pais newspaper on 29 December 2019, entitled “Generation Z” is better than “Millennials”, by Kiko Lianellas, is excerpted from this article: Many people think that today’s young people are lazy, irresponsible, and like to play around. Others think they’re going to be a generation ruined by mobile phones, or they think they’re at risk for a variety of reasons: lack of values, sitting, not reading… These are old and understandable fears – because parents always love to worry.
Research shows that “Generation Z” is a cautious generation. Young people, who were born between 1997 and 2012 and are now up to 22 and 23, face fewer problems than the previous generation of “millennials”: they have fewer cigarettes, drinks and drugs, and have less nightlife. They seem to be more responsible, more diligent, more at home and better. Although they will certainly have more anxiety, they look healthier and think they are happier. Statistics tell you everything:
According to a study sponsored by the World Health Organization, only 5 per cent of 15- and 16-year-olds have smoked since 2002.
Teenagers drink less alcohol, with only 8% drinking every week, a third less than in 2006. Seventy-six percent of teenagers think drinking five to six glasses of wine a weekend can cause “enough problems.”
Only 26 per cent of 15- to 24-year-olds go out almost every weekend night, compared with 64 per cent in 1996.
The drop-out rate has been significantly reduced and the number of university students has increased, with 40 per cent of young people aged 20 to 24 attending university, compared with 28 per cent in 2005.
89% of young people read, compared with 72% in 2006.
Teenagers today eat more vegetables, eat fewer sweets and sugary sodas. Compared with 2002, today’s younger generation is not getting fatter or thinner.
They are happier. Since 2002, the number of adolescents who are very satisfied with their lives has risen from 28 per cent to 44 per cent.
So why is there such a big difference between the reality reflected in the data and the fear we perceive? There is a big problem with memory here. About 10 years ago, alcohol and drug abuse was more prominent among the youth community, but this is different now. In 2000, one in 56 15- to 19-year-olds in Spain died from drug overdoses. Since then, the number of deaths has decreased year by year, to one in seven at the time.
Amy Albarn, an expert on youth at the University of Cambridge, said: “Many of the concerns associated with adolescents are often related to technological change. This is true of books, radio, television and today’s social networks. “2019 will show us that neither action movies nor video games will make “Millennials” more violent.
The data from the previous table suggest that Generation Z will be more cautious than the previous generation. Some seem to be skeptical. But to be sure, they will definitely be better than the critics think, not because they are exceptional, but because they are normal and ordinary.