Instead of Gen Z vs Millennials, Is It Them Vs Distraction?

Gen Z vs Millennials

Oh, let’s read this article. Wait! This ad seems good. Oh! Has someone messaged me? Why does no one message me? Wait! Did that wall always have that black mark? I need to paint my walls. Maybe I should make a Pinterest mood board for my new room decor! What is this you ask? Just a visual representation of a distracted mind. Constantly driven to distractions, on its journey. 

This seems to be increasingly happening in the minds of Gen Z and Millennials.

Gen Z and Millennials. Terms every person who has the slightest access to the interwebs has heard or seen. But what are they? Are they rivals or long-lost siblings? Both in a way. A Millennial is anyone born between 1980 and 1995. A member of Gen Z is anyone born between 1996 and the early-mid 2000s. The main differences between the two are based on their content exposure, upbringing, and values. These little differences make up an entire culture respective to each generation with rules and ways of living of their own.

Even though are 2 generations altogether, they share a fair bunch of similarities. One of them is- Attention Span. Statistically speaking, the normal attention span of a healthy teenager or adult is around 5-6 hours. But recent studies have something different to reveal. The average human has an attention span of just 8.25 seconds according to recent studies – 4.25 seconds less than in 2000. 

The Cause And The Effect

A very “parents” reply to this, but, these generations grew up with a smartphone, and it is estimated that 96% of Generation Z own a smartphone. The importance of cell phones in Gen Z’s lives is seen in how they feel about owning one. Owning a smartphone is having the whole world at the tip of your fingers. You can hop onto any train of thought and your phone will have an answer for it. 

With smartphones, comes the smart lifestyle that Social Media fuels. Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) culture later plays its role in constantly bugging minds into thinking they are missing out on something.

According to a survey, 82% of Gen Zs and Millennials indicated that social media had hindered their ability to focus on their academic work. Additionally, it was discovered that only 56% of men but 3 in 4 female respondents agreed that social media had influenced them to compare themselves to others.

One of the common causes of such distraction is overexposure. When there is one plate in front of you with one type of biscuit, you will eat it readily. But when there are 28 plates with 369 biscuit options, the human brain starts to wander. Similarly, while living their lives, Gen Zs and Millennials. are exposed to multiple sources of entertainment, education, and pass time. This results in them being caught up with where they wish to go for 4 of the 5 options they have.

The Do-It-All Culture

This could be blamed on the upbringing of Millenials or Gen Z, but the way people look at work today is different and borderline unhealthy. Gen Z and Millennials spent their years being pressured through academics into careers that they have to be good at everything. No excuse, No concessions. 

This upbringing probably has imprinted itself on their brains resulting in the Do-It-All culture. Under this, one tries to do everything at once, in an attempt to feel productive. And end up doing neither of the tasks perfectly. Through the millennial years, they never learn to give adequate attention. Task 1 is at hand, but the mind is already planning the footsteps of task 34. 

The Do-It-Later Culture

Totally in contrast to the above, a result of overexposure to resources. The Do-It-later Culture is when it is well-known that a task is pending. But having access to so many resources and aids, the mind lets itself relax. Thinking “I will do it. Promise. Just. After watching this”. Because there is bottom-line confidence that even if distracted and procrastinating, the work will be completed now or later. 

Studying Behavior

According to recent data from Omnicom Media Group and Snap Inc,  covid-19 increased video use across applications, including social media (61%) and streaming, both within the platforms themselves (56%) and within streaming apps on phones (52%). Users watch videos of some kind more than half the time they are using applications like Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, which do not focus on videos.

Unsurprisingly, both groups boosted their overall video consumption on smartphones, with Millennials watching 51% more and Gen Z 67% more.

Looking at these numbers and facts, one thing is clear- the next generation the world will get to see will be completely unique. In terms of their work culture, values, practices, and so on. We might witness that in the coming years, the world is completely changed in terms of its functioning and lifestyle. Gen Z and Millenials may not win the battle among themselves, but will definitely win one by developing a new culture.

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