The power Gen Z holds


Photo by Graeme Moran

Throughout the chaos of 2020, Generation Z has catalyzed a movement for social reform and social acceptance.

Lilli Eppinga, Feature Editor

While the year 2020 threw many of us for a loophole, the actions of Gen Z have slowly changed millions of mindsets across the globe with our ideas of change and disconformity. Our generation, unlike others, aims to work together as one to overcome obstacles and to establish equality among the country. 

It’s undeniable that our generation has been involved in several historical events. We have seen a deadly pandemic spread throughout the world, and have stood witness to the Black Lives Matter campaign, which is currently gaining momentum due to our generation’s outrageous efforts to not only voice the problem but to change it. 

We witnessed one of the most controversial and infuriating presidential campaigns of all time. For many of us, it was the first time we had the opportunity to voice our choice, but with two undesirable candidates, the country was left in division. Through social media and campaigns, most of Gen Z participated in the debate, allowing them to have a voice.

According to Pew Research Center, members of Gen Z are more likely than older generations to look to the government to solve problems, rather than businesses and individuals. Seven out of 10 Gen Zers say the government should do more to solve problems, while 29% say the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals. A somewhat smaller share of Millennials (64%) says that the government should do more to solve problems.

Seeing as social media is our biggest tool of communication, it has united us in ways we never thought possible. It has opened up unprecedented opportunities to express our individualistic views that often go viral and gain traction, turning into a movement. For example, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg of Sweden has become the youngest person ever to be named Time’s  Person of the Year. She has inspired thousands of young people to participate in climate strikes, influencing world leaders to call for urgent change.

Members of Gen Z are more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation, and they are on track to be the most well-educated generation yet. They are also digital natives who have little or no memory of the world as it existed before smartphones.

Most notable, however, is how we single-handedly defied stereotypical norms and the patterns of past generations. Topics that were once before looked down upon, are now brought into a positive light. Topics such as the roles of a woman, racism, cultural appropriation and most of all, gender identities. The impact of our intentions to change the old ways has led us to become one of the most accepting and independent generations of all time. 

Looking at the bigger picture, our generation has set the wheels in motion for something big. If our country continues to follow in the footsteps of the past, a difference will never be made. The weight may be on our shoulders to stand against the ways the world taught us and to make our country everything it should be.