Spend any time with Gen Z and below and you’ll notice that they are far more transparent than the generation before. Whereas my generation, and certainly my father’s generation, saw knowledge as power and coveted it as a premium resource, today’s young people are far more willing to share personal information. Whereas we saw keeping things close to our chest as a power play, in a couple of decades, the power play is actually the dispensing of personal information in an open, almost completely, digital global forum.
My generation was brought up without external influences; transparency was limited and there were no secondary or tertiary points of references for information verification; what you were told by your parents, aunts and uncles was fact. And that was that.
“Mummy, how was I born?”
“You came from my stomach, you came from God”
With no means to verify or no reason to question, this was my truth. Your parents designed you the way they wanted you, and that was almost in the same mold as they were designed. There were no opportunities for thinking beyond your parents’ parameters. There was no nurturing environment for inquisitiveness or curiosity, really. Information was a one-way streak and opaque, at best. Anyone my age will have told you they wanted to be an engineer, a lawyer, a doctor — because that’s all they knew from their parents. No-one would have uttered “I want to be an artist”, in those days. It simply was an option.
Even when it came to professional assistance — a doctor would give you a pill or some form of medication and you would not even think to question what it was for — you just took it without a second thought. Now we are empowered to ask about the pill, ask about alternatives, ask about side effects and then we can also go home and Google for even more information to quench our desire for more information on what we’re putting into our bodies.
Today, transparency is a way of life; young people are bombarded with information, from their parents, from the media, from social media, from schools, from their various communities — and more. And if something seems opaque to them, they can find answers, via their mobile, in seconds — sourcing multiple references. Access to so much information has allowed this generation to question everything and they are…