As I’m seating a married couple and their 2 year old at a restaurant I work at, I ask “Would your son like a coloring sheet?”
The mom replies, “Yes please.”
When they are seated, they set their 2 year old son up in his high chair, and I put his coloring sheet in front of him and some menus and silverware on the table. I tell them, “Your waiter will be right with you.”
The married couple smile politely and say “Okay.”
As I walk past the family a few minutes later, the coloring sheet is across the table and the two year old is watching cartoons on a phone. This is starting to happen more and more, kids choosing technology over imagination. When their food is served, the parents practically have to pry the the phone out of their son’s hands. This is what is happening to Generation Z.
There’s the Baby Boomers, the Millennials, the Lost Generation, then there’s Generation Z.
Generation Z are those born between 1995-2014. However, it sometimes feels like there is a divide within this group. The older individuals of the generation have experienced their childhoods living outside and communicating face-to-face, before the infusion of technology with everyday life, while the younger part of Generation Z has grown up too fast, in front of a screen. The younger kids that are a part of Generation Z are clueless as how to live their lives without of a screen and just be kids.
Most would agree that the younger group of Generation Z is quite different from the older group of the generation. What happened to running around the yard during the summer or always having a play date?
Today’s ten year olds are learning to complete full faces of makeup on youtube before they learn how to love and appreciate themselves. The kids within Generation Z are growing up thinking that they have to cover their imperfections, and they won’t ever learn that having imperfections is okay.
In reality, these kids need to learn to go outside and get some dirt on their face before they learn to cover it up with makeup. The older individuals of Generation Z may have used makeup, but those kids did the fun makeup, and they most likely have made a mess on their face with the makeup.
Still, it feels unfair that as a whole, Generation Z is being judged for their use of technology by older generations. Yes, Generation Z may focus heavily on technology, but then again just taking a peek at your phone will result in a snotty comment waiting for you from someone older.
As technology is growing it is starting to affect everyone, even those who are young. Generation Z has made technology into a bad thing instead of a helping tool.
“So do 69% of 11-14 year olds and 31% of kids aged 8-10,” according to WebMD . The younger individuals of Generation Z are getting phones at younger and younger ages and this may be disrupting their childhood.
Phones can be a distraction everywhere. We can’t have conversations without a phone interrupting, and we can’t get an education without a phone disrupting.
“In the classroom phones can be effective tool, but students can’t draw the line between helping and social media,” said Loy Norrix Economics and Government teacher Ryan Allen.
Some of Generation Z don’t care that much for their phones and are still judged because of what the rest of their generation does.
Unfortunately, the younger half of Generation Z are starting to get addicted to their phone at the age of 7 or 8, which can exacerbate the negative effects of this technology and worsen Generation Z’s reputation.
The older individuals of Generation Z probably didn’t have a lot of technology to grow up on. Technology can help people learn, but there is a line between helping and losing brain cells. Generation Z kids don’t know what imaginary friends are anymore, but they know how to chat online with random people.
Today’s kids are also learning how to get what they want. Whenever it is time to put away technology, kids throw tantrums to get what they want and usually do.
”Tantrums may happen when kids are tired, hungry, or uncomfortable; or because they can’t get something to do what they want,” according to Kids health.
“Our children have formed a strong digital dependence because their brains undergo neurobiological changes when they use technology,” said Kristy Goodwin from The Modern Parent. These kids usually end up getting what they want in the end, otherwise, it will be a very long night. Their parents don’t discipline them enough or even at all sometimes. The child usually turns snotty and rude due to lack of discipline. As for the older group of Generation Z, at least some of them grew up with discipline. As the years pass, discipline has possibly become a ‘bad’ thing to people.
The younger part of Generation Z doesn’t, and most likely will not, know what it is like to be an actual child living life outside of a screen.The older individuals of Generation Z has experienced their childhood without the overwhelming influence of technology, while the younger part is attached to their technology, and the only toys they have are makeup brushes instead of dolls. These kids will probably never know what discipline is, the smell of dirt and possibly the stress of what their favorite toy is that day.