14 Things That Society Can’t Do Anymore Because Gen Z Says “No”

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If there is an eternal pastime, it’s older generations complaining about young people. With the rise of Tiktok and other social media, it’s become even more clear the sort of disdain that older generations have for the up and coming generation. It goes both ways, though, and Gen Z has made very clear that some things are certainly on their way out.

1. Ignore Mental Health Issues

Mental health is a topic that many of Gen Z hold near and dear. Growing knowledge about psychological disorders and the way they can impact our lives and health have made Gen Z very insistent on not dismissing mental health.

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It goes as far as Gen Z insisting that old colloquialisms such as saying that “I’m so OCD” are no longer kosher. Gen Z takes mental health very seriously, and isn’t about to let a bunch of older Americans with prejudices take away this very important lifestyle factor.

2. Shop Fast Fashion

The environment is an issue that Gen Z is heavily invested in, and it’s spoken about ahead of nearly every election cycle. Fast fashion – or clothing that is produced cheaply, and meant to be worn for a season or two before it’s thrown away in favor of the new – is one of the facets of environmental issues that has taken the stage.

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Fast fashion has significant environmental impacts beyond the amount of waste that it creates in the landfill. The water and chemicals required to create these clothes are significantly impactful, and Gen Z has taken to looking for more sustainable ways to fill their closet such as thrifting and buying longer-wearing, more expensive pieces.

3. Ignore Climate Change

Climate change cannot be ignored, and Gen Z isn’t the only generation who think so. The environment is changing rapidly, and it’s gotten to the point where people cannot look at global warming and say that the extreme temperatures and natural disasters are simply the turning of the tide.

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While many older generations still buy into the idea that the planet is on a cycle of heating and cooling, Gen Z recognizes that the trend is inevitably upwards. They’ve started to call on their political representatives to take more responsibility, and are using their votes to express their displeasure when their voices aren’t heard.

4. Trivialize Social Media Activism

Social media is the new sandbox for Gen Z. It’s where many people gather, share information, and get their news from sources that they feel they can trust. Whether they can actually trust the information they gather from platforms such as Tiktok and Facebook is debatable, but what they learn has the younger generations all fired up.

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This has led to mass targeting campaigns of bullies, of criminals, of bad politicians, you name it. If Gen Z feels that a cause or a person is worthy of their attention, they rally, and it has led to some massive waves that can be seen in the real world. Issues from abortion to the war in the Middle East are not safe from Gen Z’s activism, and they have the potential to make real change in a world that is increasingly online.

5. Mock Non-Binary Pronouns

Social understanding of gender and sex is becoming more comprehensive every year, despite what politicians and older Americans want to believe. It’s not as simple as “boy” and “girl” anymore, and Gen Z has put their foot down on older Americans trivializing their gender identities.

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This can be seen in the greater options for gender identity that can be chosen on social media websites and on formal documents, such as those seen at the physician or the DMV. Gen Z are taking a stand in their right to live in society in the way that makes them the most comfortable, and they’ll demand you use the correct pronouns while they do it.

6. Choose Convenience Over Recycling

Recycling isn’t the most convenient of activities, that’s something that we can all admit to. But Gen Z doesn’t believe that convenience should be an impediment to doing the right thing for the planet.

Source: Pexels/Alex Fu

Indeed, many Gen Z-er’s see environmental activism as a moral obligation, to provide for the planet that provides for us. They want to leave a better planet for the generation after them than the one that they were given by the generation before, and in their eyes, a little inconvenience is worth that global payout.

7. Not Wear Sunscreen

Cancer is the number one killer of many people, and the knowledge of exactly what causes skin cancer has made SPF a major talking point for many under the age of 30. Gen Z want to know the level of SPF in their makeup products, their lotions, their deodorants.

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While this might seem excessive, on a planet that is gradually warming with no signs of slowing down, it’s not merely a social talking point. It’s an important choice to be made for health. Preventing skin cancer goes beyond limiting your time in the sun. It’s a lifestyle choice that requires attentiveness and thought, and Gen Z are on board.

8. Trivialize True Consent

Social media has done more than allow for political stances to be made clear, and for activism to spread far and wide. It has also made clear the rampant abuse that can take place both in relationships and out, and has allowed for some sincere and serious conversations to take place around the topic of consent of all kinds.

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The disturbing truth of rape culture aside, Gen Z also emphasizes consent for any type of emotional or physical intimacy. Not everyone wants to hear about your day, and offering the opportunity for people to make their stance clear on issues and activities – and then have those opinions and stances respected – is something that Gen Z is very insistent on.

9. Stereotype Based on Job Roles

People are more than the jobs that they hold, and this is an attitude and a concept that Gen Z are fierce about. Gen Z sees people as providing far more value than simply what they do to earn a paycheck, and don’t appreciate others who look down on them for not doing “what they should be doing.”

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In this way, Gen Z is slowly changing workplace culture. Gen Z is in every industry, in all types of roles from professional Youtubers to project managers at tech startups. Age is but a number, and the role that you have at work is only as important as what you make it.

10. Push the College Success Narrative

Not everyone is meant for college, and that is a fact. Millennials and Gen Z are shaping up to be the most educated, and lowest paid generations in recent history, and they’re putting their foot down on the narrative that college is required to be successful.

Source: Pexels/Stanley Morales

This changing attitude comes in light of job listings that require a master’s degree for entry-level pay, and other similar unrealistic expectations from prospective employers. Gen Z would rather strike out on their own and attempt to make their living in the gig economy or as a small business owner rather than be exploited and go into tens of thousands of dollars of debt, and there’s no requirement of a Bachelors for that.

11. Live in the Past – Technologically

One of the constants of modern culture is that the technology that you’ve only just gotten used to will soon become obsolete. An inability, or outright refusal, to adapt has left man older Americans in the dust as culture changes around them, and Gen Z are stepping up.

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Gen Z are the generation of app development and blindingly fast technology, and they’re going to continue moving with the tide, whether their parents want to or not. In a society where it’s a choice to adapt or be left behind, Gen Z has chosen to adapt.

12. Share Fake News, Without Fact Checking

Information is abundant on the internet, and a disturbing trend has risen of Americans, older Americans in particular, sharing “data” or “news” without checking the facts against a primary source. This is particularly rampant on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and Gen Z is not having it.

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Gen Z hails themselves as the generation of responsible information sharing an interaction, and it’s become commonplace for many younger Americans to share their sources when they’re communicating information. This allows for them to communicate more effectively and factually, and lets others around them do the same.

13. Use Plastic Thoughtlessly

The days of ignoring the impact of single-use plastic on the planet is done, and Gen Z has had enough of it. Landfills are overflowing with single use plastic bottles, and there are new stories about plastic in the ocean every month as more and more horrifying environmental impacts of our overconsumption are discovered.

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Gen Z is doing what they can to turn this culture around. Reusable bottles have exploded on the market as young Americans seek to find ways to hydrate without filling the landfill, and more and more people are going into the sciences to discover new ways to reduce the impact of plastic, and improve life for both humans and animals on our planet.

14. Overdoing “Hustle Culture”

Gen Z would rather be a small business owner than be exploited by corporations, it’s true. But there’s a narrative that even those who work in corporate or hourly jobs should have a “side hustle” in order to make ends meet. This is to make up for the fact that wages have not kept up with the cost of living, but Gen Z is pushing back against this narrative.

Source: Pexels/George Milton

Gen Z would rather spend their time enjoying their lives, rather than working an endless grind of one and two and three jobs. They’re prioritizing their health and enjoyment, rather than careers, and despite the older generations calling them “lazy,” they’ve made their stance on hustle culture clear, and it is definitely out.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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