Gen-Z and how the revolution will be articulated in 280 characters or less.
By Nina Lowe
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 7 of VARSITY News.
Generation Z consists of those born after 1997 but generational lines are always blurry. Several stereotypes have come to define this generation. The main stereotypes that we are entitled, special snowflakes and obsessed with political correctness. As a member of Gen-Z, my counter argument to that is simple, “Ok, Boomer.”
this is gen Z in one tweet and I will protect them with my life https://t.co/QqmC0LMo2y
— Jordan Ifueko 💬Arrest Breonna Taylor’s Killers 💬 (@jifueko) June 9, 2020
The tweet perfectly encompasses the experience of many Gen-Z teens and young adults who have had access to the internet and have been entertained and informed by the same channels of mass media. We look at a meme, scroll down and within seconds become virtual witnesses of the brutal murders that come as result of police brutality.
The entanglement of entertainment and education has birthed some of the wittiest protest placards in history. My personal favourites include, “FOSSIL FOOLS” and “VETO THE CHEETO”. Importantly, there have been no (or very few) of these light-hearted placards for the Black Lives Matter protests because we seem to have a mutual understanding that this is not a joke.
gen z culture: anarchists with social anxiety https://t.co/KdjQlHeVnR
— Zoe 🦋 | 🐀🐑🍈cihaw + bills🐄 ᘛ⁐̤ᕐᐷ (@39killersheens) June 10, 2020
The hyperbolised trope of Gen-Z’s experience of social anxiety on social media comes as a result of ‘snowflake’ stereotype. However, when it comes to communication of activism through memes and in posts of 280 characters or less, when it really counts we show up.
We are currently living through and witnessing the systemic oppression of BIPOC and the LGBTQ+ community, a global pandemic, mass femicide, and all while existing on a dying planet in the worst economic recession ever. Under these circumstances there is no way anyone could continue to live in ignorance. The world is a depressing place and many of us feel it. We know the world is ending, so making jokes about the inevitability of death has become normalised.
We will not back down. We will hold idiots accountable on social media, we will sign petitions until cops are arrested and statues fall. We will cyber-bully the Cheeto. We will “politically correct” years of systematic abuse of minorities. Yes, our cell phones do make us depressed but they also keep us informed, sensitive and accountable. So, if wanting a progressive society makes us entitled, then so be it, Boomer.
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