According to a new study, Gen Z — or ‘Generation K,’ for Katniss — will inherit a “dystopian, unequal and harsh” world from Millennials.
Well, here’s some news to ruin your morning.
Recently, The Guardian released an article investigating Generation Z, the post-Millennial, perpetually plugged-in generation. Recounting a story about a girl who woke up from surgery and muttered “iPhone, iPhone,” the publication paints a pretty bleak picture of the future of the human race.
“Generation K is coming of age in the shadow of economic decline, job insecurity, increasing inequality and a lack of financial optimism,” writes Noreena Hertz. Further, “Generation K is deeply distrustful of establishment institutions and, if anything, sees them as another source of anxiety.”
They’re marred by frustration and fear, yet the hopelessness and anxiety that has already left its mark on Millennials might prevent Gen K from taking positive action to make the world a better place. Rather, according to Hertz, “they believe that it’s the color of their skin, their sex, their parents’ economic status and their social standing that will determine their future.”
Gen Z-ers were born between 1995-2015, therefore few remember a world before 9/11. They have lived their entire lives under the threat of terrorism; they’re seeing alliances crumble, and messages of hate are plastered all over their social media platforms. News sources bring them graphic images of war-torn countries, along with constant reports of people getting shot or dying randomly and tragically. And Gen K children are watching all this happen from a place of perpetual loneliness: From behind the screens of their smartphones.
All this means that Gen K is marked by constant anxiety, pessimism and a deep-rooted knowledge that their lives will be more of a struggle than their parents’ were. For all these reasons and more, Hertz has branded this generation “Generation K,” for Katniss Everdeen, to reflect the hopelessness of the world we’ve built for them.
In Suzanne Collins’ dystopian trilogy, Katniss was the Mockingjay against her will; she was a symbol, dragged into a war she wanted no part of. Katniss herself was hopeless and desperate, and in the end, she failed to protect the one she loved most.
“I call them Generation K, after Katniss Everdeen, the determined heroine of the Hunger Games,” Hertz reasons. “Like Katniss, they feel the world they inhabit is one of perpetual struggle – dystopian, unequal and harsh.”
Let’s only hope that, like Katniss, Gen K will catch fire, rising up and uniting in order to truly incite positive change.
Do you agree that the post-Millennial generation is marked by Katniss’ gloom and hopelessness?