Gen Z Finding Controversial Role Models In The Wake of Overtechnologization

The Bridge: With much of Gen Z knowing nothing else but technology their entire lives, there’s a surprising schism surrounding the ever-increasing saturation of social media. Some young people are finding unlikely (and unwholesome) role models, while others are making the pointed decision to disconnect and bond with the real world.


Escaping the Matrix 

You’d think a generation raised on a diet of electronic tablets and social media would feel pretty comfortable in our increasingly technological society. But we’re seeing clear signs that this isn’t the case, and it’s manifesting in some pretty interesting ways. Gen Z polled surprisingly low on being comfortable with “always being reachable” and optimism about technology in the future. Worryingly, those polled also felt it difficult to disconnect from the online world, which is a tough place to be in – you don’t want to go, but you don’t want to stay, either.

This sort of Stockholm syndrome is manifesting itself in very weird ways. There is an admittedly niche (but very real) collective of Gen Zers that have found a patron saint in Ted Kaczynski, AKA the Unabomber. The short version of Kaczynski’s missionary-style bombings of universities and airlines was that he saw society creeping toward a hideous technological servitude and had to be resisted at all costs. He wrote a manifesto in 1995 that espoused the radical notion that tech was the enemy, and that manifesto has been adopted by a community of “TedPillers” (a play on the red pill, blue pill concept from The Matrix, where the red pill signifies an escape from the illusion of reality, and the blue pill keeps the user blissfully unaware and asleep).

Yikes. 😬There’s a lot to unpack there, but suffice it to say that some kids just ain’t happy.


So What’s a Gen to Do?

So we know that Z-llennials are unhappy with social media, and that they’re one of the most purpose-and-identity driven generations – and the good news is that most of them seem to be channeling their energy into building a positive future. This applies to themselves and to others; they’re forced to think outside the box in the face of issues like home ownership, corporate careers, and climate change.

We’re seeing trends toward simple, non-commercial lives. Sure, some young people are into fast fashion and other capitalist quick-fixes, but there’s a considerable push for thoughtful, mindful practices. Conscious consumerism is not new, but it is now more easily accessible and on-brand for our thoughtful and socially conscious young generations. They know they own the future – how they approach it might become the most fulfilling challenge of their lives.

role models
atypical posters // pexels x L. Aguayo

Related Posts

You may have heard something this week about what appeared to be the crypto apocalypse, (and the millennial founder of a massive cryptocurrency exchange as one of the four horsemen). Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) has fled the US following a total meltdown of his platform FTX, and is in custody in the Bahamas. $10 Billion (with a B) in user funds have been wiped from the slate. Whispers of political corruption, money laundering, and worse have been making the rounds on every social media platform. The US government is stepping in, and we are witnessing the dawning of a new age of digital currency. This Enron-level catastrophe might be the canary in the coalmine – or it could signal a radical shift in public awareness and understanding. We’re talking about Decentralization, of course – and this might sound familiar to you. We’ve covered the broad strokes in past issues, and now we see an opportunity to give you a little more context. Before we dive in, there’s a silver lining to this thundercloud: the first-ever member of Gen Z is making his way to congress. This means that the generation that will be most affected by these radical changes is already stepping up to do their part.
Times are changing, both online and off. Nowhere is this more true than in the semi-illicit and ever-changing world of: Drugs. More than half of US states have decriminalized marijuana. A handful of states have passed (or are in the process of passing) legislation to allow ownership and use of magic mushrooms, ibogaine, and other notable psychedelic plants. Some healthcare providers are advocating for MDMA (otherwise known as ecstasy) and ketamine (an animal tranquilizer) in the treatment of post traumatic stress patients. It’s not clear just what percentage of Gen Z and Millennial partakes in recreational drug use. Statistics vary, and can be unreliable. And there are plenty of examples of formerly taboo drugs being used in a therapeutic context, which might expand as time goes by. With the ongoing swing of the pendulum, we are undoubtedly witnessing a monumental shift in attitudes, safety, and legality. …and some of the ways may surprise you.
Elon, Elon, Elon…after what feels like an eternity, Elon Musk’s purchase of social media platform, Twitter, is complete. As promised (dare we say feared), so too came the structural changes that may quite well signal the end of an era. Content moderation reforms, advertiser exits (right behind executive firings), and questions about the company’s ability to sustain itself financially are at the forefront of most news sources this week. Oh…did we mention that you’ll probably be able to buy a “blue-check” verification soon. As a subscription service, of course. We’re sureeeeee spending money on a previously free (and exclusive) feature is exactly what’s going to keep users happy. Just kidding – Twitter has seen a steady decline in users for the past couple of years, with their already low Zoomer demographic decreasing even more (not to mention the decline of Twitter in general). Click over to the full article to learn more about the status of this dumpster fire.

The Single BEST (and FREE!) Newsletter You'll Read All Week 🔥🦄