It might interest you to know that Generation Z is not only shaped by the past, we also have vastly different perceptions of what we want for our future. If you have any concerns or curiosity about the future of the world, Generation Z is the one to watch right now. In this article we’re going to discuss what our interests are, what we’re buying and why we might just be wasting our money!

But first, who is Generation Z?

Generation Z was born between 1995 and 2015, making the youngest around 5 and the oldest, 25 years old. This means that this generation was literally born during the age of the internet. Gen Z has no experience of a world before or after the world of instant gratification. From shopping, eating, gaming and dating, virtually everything is done online. A lot of us quite literally eat and breathe in the online wold.

Getting a bad rap

Older generations are always complaining about how much time this generation spends online. We may have been getting a bad rap, but we have not been asleep. We’ve been watching and taking notes of how the huge cog in the machine of the world is run on debt and we have zero interest in falling into this trap.

Gen Z is acutely aware of the traps their parents have fallen into and have zero interest in doing the same. Gen Z doesn’t seem to buy for the sake of it, we are considered more conscious consumers, taking many things into account before we buy, including leaning towards buying experiences as opposed to things. There doesn’t seem to be much ‘keeping up with the Jones’ in this generation. We’re interested in what’s sustainable for the planet and a lot of people in this generation have the best intentions.

Generation Z not only inherited the benefits of having information at our fingertips, but we’ve also inherited some scary realities too. It’s been feared that we will grow up lacking the social skills needed to formulate meaningful relationships. But, when everything we could possibly want is at our fingertips, why bother going to malls and markets to shop? This new generation’s spending habits have had and will continue to have a huge impact on popular brands and retail stores for their foreseeable future.

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Good intentions or the road to hell?

Generation Z may be the most considerate generation with our spending habits and may have the best intentions, but just like everyone else, we can fall victim to consumerism. This is even more so as the online shopping world is quite frankly, one we not only know, it’s the one that’s preferred. Sadly, with this convenience comes a lot of pitfalls.

Every generation thinks ‘We know better’ and in some instances we do but shopping and spending money have never been easier than it is for Generation Z, even if it’s money we don’t even have yet! The temptation in our world of instant gratification is so great.

‘Online shopping is so easy’ – or is it?

According to an article in the South China Morning Post, the post-2000 generation accounted for 15.8 percent of China’s online fraud. It’s estimated that about $55 million was lost to online fraud in 2017 alone. We should expect this number to rise.

You may be familiar with the old scam – someone’s grandmother (or someone older) falling victim to a person pretending to be a relative in trouble and getting their unsuspecting victim to reveal their bank account details in order to ‘help’ this person. Well, the biggest difference is that Generation Z is now also falling victim to this same kind of fraud.

Teenagers born in the digital era, have different ways of communicating and they have different spending habits. With this fast pace and lifestyle of instant gratification, there’s always a sense of wanting more and for gratification to come quicker. So, whereas older folk might be able to tell something is off, some in this younger generation is being taken advantage of.

Gambling, gaming and Generation Z

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Land-based casinos are still trying to figure out their marketing strategy to this generation of players. Hence the rise in online gambling, where you can play online at a multitude of online casinos that offer a staggering array of games. With technology making online gambling so easy, Gen Z has become an easy target.

When Sony introduced online gaming to their PlayStation 2 in the year 2000, many Millennials found it challenging to make the change. According to a recent article from the American Association of Advertising Agencies, however, Gen Z males on the other hand, claimed that “Gaming is a Core Component of Who We Are”. This tells you everything about how connected and intertwined reality and the online world is to Gen Z.

An App a day keeps the boredom at bay

Like, Comment, subscribe – these 3 words have become the ending for most companies wanting to grab Gen Z’s attention. With so much of our identity linked to our social media profiles, Gen Z is not only easily influenced, we’ve become obsessed with following influencers. Granted, every generation needs their role models but for every influencer with good intentions, there are a thousand more using their profiles to bait this Generation into spending more money.

In-app purchases are another cunning way to spend money. Just because an app is free to download, doesn’t mean it won’t cost you later. App Stores for Apple and Android have apps which prompt users to spend money on add-ons like monthly subscriptions, special features and so many more temptations. These extra costs are easily added to an online credit card and are only a click away, making this generation spend more money than they intend to.

Take advice, don’t add more vices

Generation Z – you are a more conscious consumer than your predecessors but don’t let the fast and easy pace of an online world make you immune to being careful with your money. I know it’s hard to separate yourself from the online world but remember, the human condition is not immune to temptation, no matter what our age.