Ep 248: What Would Gen-Z Do?

John Schlimm, author of What Would Gen-Z Do, clues us in onto what’s going on with Gen Z. What does the next generation do well, struggle with, and care about most? 

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Full Show Notes

In a world where generations often struggle to understand each other, Generation Z stands out as a group extensively stereotyped and misunderstood. Known for their digital nativity and often misinterpreted through media, Gen Z's authentic voices and concerns are frequently overshadowed. This episode of Talking to Teens delves into the world of Generation Z, shedding light on how to foster deeper and more meaningful conversations between teens and adults.

Our guest, John Schlimm, is a Harvard-trained educator, artist, advocate, and international award-winning author who has been instrumental in unveiling the complex nature of Gen Z. Through extensive research, trusted relationships, and innovative projects like the Gen Z Time Capsule with the Andy Warhol Museum, John has provided a platform for Gen Zers to present themselves to the world beyond stereotypes and stigmas.

The Importance of Listening

The episode opens with a vital realization: when talking about sensitive topics like mental health, are adults being triggered by Gen Z’s openness? They grew up in a time where such discussions were taboo. Understanding this dynamic can transform conversations, making them more open and honest.

Breaking Stereotypes: The World of Gaming

Gen Z’s engagement with video games is often criticized by older generations. John shares insights on how games are not merely a pastime but a way to develop crucial skills like strategic thinking, communication, and social-emotional learning. Understanding and respecting Gen Z's hobbies can bridge gaps between generations.

Navigating Social Media: The Reality of "Finstas"

The concept of "Finstas," or fake Instagram accounts, is often misinterpreted by adults. John clarifies that these accounts are less about secrecy and more about a space for Gen Zers to express their authentic selves without the pressure of judgment. Understanding the personal side of social media can foster better communication.

Respecting Gen Z's Unique Lifestyle: Sleep Patterns and Independence

Discussing Gen Z's unconventional sleep patterns and their quest for independence, John proposes adapting to their lifestyle rather than enforcing outdated norms. Whether it's considering classes at unconventional hours or understanding their late-night habits, flexibility and respect are key.

Embracing Vulnerability and Respectful Conversations

The episode emphasizes the importance of vulnerability and respect in conversations with Gen Z. By sharing personal experiences and struggles, adults can connect with Gen Z on a deeper level, fostering an environment of mutual respect and understanding.

Topics Covered in the Episode...
  • The dynamic relationship between mental health discussions and generational triggers
  • The educational benefits of video gaming for Gen Z
  • Understanding the role of "Finstas" in Gen Z’s social media use
  • Adapting to Gen Z’s sleep patterns and advocating for their independence
  • The power of vulnerability and respect in bridging generational divides
For anyone seeking to understand and connect with Generation Z, this episode offers valuable insights into their world, challenges, and the beauty of meaningful conversations.

Listen to this enlightening episode and subscribe to Talking to Teens for more insights on fostering positive relationships with the teenagers in your life.

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Creators and Guests

Andy Earle
Andy Earle
Host of the Talking to Teens Podcast and founder of Write It Great
John Schlimm
John Schlimm
Award-winning author, artist, advocate, and educator
Ep 248: What Would Gen-Z Do?
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