Four Things You Should Watch to Better Understand Generation Z

Today’s blog is from Andrew McPeak. Andrew is a next gen researcher, speaker and the Vice President of Content for Growing Leaders. He is also the co-author of Generation Z Unfiltered: Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population.

When I’m on the road and in conversations with leaders of various backgrounds across the country, I find that two perspectives often go together. When I hear an adult say, “I just don’t understand these kids today,” I am frequently speaking to an adult who hasn’t spent any time in the world of today’s kids. They aren’t on social media sites Generation Z frequents, they don’t play video games, and they likely aren’t spending time with them trying to understand their point of view. If they were, they would understand how complex this world really is for today’s teenagers.

The challenge, of course, is that it’s hard to understand the world of today’s kids unless you do what they do. But who has time for that? That’s why I wanted to make this list. I believe there are ways to understand the world of today’s kids without having to actually move into that world yourself. For busy (or uninterested) adults consider this your map into the mind of Generation Z. May I be your tour guide?

Four Things You Should Watch to Better Understand Generation Z

1. Movie: Eighth Grade (Click here to watch the trailer)

My favorite Generation Z movie came out last year, and it’s called Eighth Grade. It’s an indie film that is trying to capture the mind and emotions of a young—slightly awkward—girl during her last week of eighth grade. Keep in mind it’s rated R, but so is, I would argue, the average life of today’s eighth graders. If you want to relive the worst parts of your middle school years, this is a good way to do it.

Where to watch: Currently available with an Amazon Prime subscription or for rent on iTunes.

2. Documentary: The Celebrity Millionaires of Competitive Gaming

A couple of years ago, I stumbled upon a documentary on YouTube that totally changed my perspective on video games. I knew about the violence, the addiction, and the weird conferences. I didn’t know about the culture, the celebrities, or the massive wave of eSports that is heading our way. Video games are only going to get bigger, and if you want to understand why, this is a great way to do it.

Where to watch: Click here.

3. News Story: Virgil Smith

Students today get a bad rap. We see them as lazy, entitled, always on their phones, and more; but did you know that they are also highly capable, savvy, and heroic? My favorite Gen Z hero story (and believe me there are a lot) is the story of Virgil Smith. When his apartment flooded in Dickinson, Texas, as a result of Hurricane Harvey, he took action and saved his mom and sister. But he didn’t stop there. I won’t ruin it for you, you’ve just got to watch. The story was so powerful, we put it in our new book: Generation Z Unfiltered.

Where to watch: Click here.

4. Investigative Report: CNN’s “Being 13

If you like the news and investigative reporting, there is a great one from CNN. A few years ago, they launched an investigative report they called “Being 13.” The idea was to track the digital and physical lives of a group of 13-year-olds to find out what life was really like for these kids. The results were pretty startling. For some of these kids, the rabbit hole of their digital footprint goes deep.

Where to watch: Click here.

New Book: Generation Z Unfiltered
Available Now $16.99

Our new book is now available now! This generation of students who have grown up in the 21st century are the most social, the most empowered, and also the most anxious youth population in human history. If you are struggling to connect with and lead them, you are not alone. The latest research presented in this book, however, illuminates a surprising reality: The success of the next generation doesn’t depend entirely on them. Their best chance of success starts when adults choose to believe in them, challenge them, and walk with them through the nine greatest challenges today’s youth will face. For their sake, and for the future success of our world, it’s time we started seeing Generation Z—unfiltered.

From decades of research and hands-on experience, Dr. Tim Elmore and Andrew McPeak collate their conclusions into one resource that helps adults:

  • Understand the differences between Generation Z and previous generations – including the Millennials (Generation Y)
  • Discover the nine unique challenges that Generation Z is currently facing and how you can help them practically address each one
  • Develop coping skills in students to help them overcome their high levels of stress and anxiety
  • Cultivate grit and resilience in young adults that will allow them to bounce back from future setbacks
  • Apply proven, research-based strategies to equip teens and young adults to reach their potential

Order Now

Four Things You Should Watch to Better Understand Generation Z