Are Gen-Zs Really That Different From Millennials?

We hear the words “Millennial” and “Gen Z” tossed around a lot. But, what’s really the difference?

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, whereas Gen-Zs were born between 1997 and 2010. Millennials are often stereotyped as self-centered, impatient, avocado-eating lazeballs, while Gen-Zs are described as screen-dependent tech-wizards who couldn’t survive a day in the wild without their iPhones. 

Does being born a few decades apart really have that much of an impact on people? We conducted some polls and research to try and understand these demos beyond their textbook definitions.


The Differences


Technology

While Millennials are tech savvy, they didn’t grow up with a cell phone constantly in hand. Meanwhile, we surveyed over 8,000 Gen-Zers and found that a whopping 86% have an iPhone, even in their early teen years. 

Social Media

While both generations use social media, their preferred apps differ. Millennials spend more time on Facebook and Instagram, while Generation Z use Snapchat and TikTok more often. 

Of thousands of Gen-Zs surveyed, we found:
-Almost 80% of Gen-Zs have a TikTok account.
-74% would rather have a TikTok account than an Instagram account. 
-66% use Snapchat regularly. 

An Ad Week study, on the other hand, found that Facebook is the biggest hit amongst Millennials (88% have an account). Statista shows that Millennials make up Instagram’s largest demographic user base.

Shopping

Interestingly, Millennials and Gen-Zs have remarkably different shopping preferences. Tech-savvy Gen-Zs overwhelmingly prefer to shop in stores – we found that of over 50,000 Wishbone users surveyed, only 30% would rather shop online. 60% of Millennials, on the other hand, prefer shopping online according to CouponFlow’s 2019 “Millennial Shopping Report.

While Millennials saw the rise of online shopping as a new and convenient phenomenon, Generation Z was born into an online shopping world. To them, shopping in person is an escape from social media and the digital world. It is a form of self-care, CNBC found.


Some Similarities

Views on Trump

President Trump is unpopular with both Millennials and Gen-Zs. According to a Wishbone poll of over 1,800 users, only 26% support the President. Similarly, a Hill-HarriX poll found that only 39% of Millennials supported President Trump in 2019.


Societal Challenges

Gen-Zs and Millennials alike are struggling to make sense of the tumultuous world around them. Of over 40,000 Gen-Zs we surveyed on Snapchat, 84% admitted they feel stressed about the current state of our world. Similarly, Deloitte’s 2019 Global Millennial Survey found “a palpable deterioration of optimism” amongst Millennials with regards to societal challenges.

Political Concerns

Both generations seem to be concerned about a lot of the same things. Several studies by Pew Research Center show that Gen-Zs and Millennials poll similarly on most political topics. While these two generations share many opinions, their responses contrast those of older generations.

The top issues to 40,000 Gen-Zers we surveyed on Snapchat are:
1. Climate Change (64%)
2. Human Rights (18%)
3. World Health (10%)
4. Education (8%).

Deloitte’s 2019 Global Millennial Survey also found climate to be the top concern of Millennials, while education was similarly at the bottom of the list.

It seems that while Generation Z and Millennials differ on trivial topics, they’re overwhelmingly united on the important matters (namely the future of our country and world). We’re encouraged by the passion and activism we see from both of these generations – it turns out they’re not as different as many think!

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