Generation-Z I See Greatness
I can remember back almost 20 years ago when I discovered Les Brown and personal development. During one of his talks, Les Brown told the story of one of his teachers who told him, ”I see greatness in you,” and this came at a time when Les didn't believe in himself. He was labeled retarded and held back in school. The point is that someone believed in him at an early age and he went on to become one of the most successful motivational speakers of all time.
So how does that relate to today's Gen-Z kids? First, if you weren't aware Generation-Z is the generation after the millennials who are already adults well into their late 20's and early 30's at this point. These are the kids born after 1995; they only know a world with the internet and smartphones.
Thanks to technology and the availability of free information, they have the opportunity to become the most impactful generation ever before reaching their 18th birthday. Through our platform at Youth Leadership Elite, we continuously find and show examples of Gen-Z'ers who are changing the world, starting businesses, and doing things that were unimaginable when I was growing up in the '80s and '90s.
As a parent of four generation-z children, I've become passionate about learning what's going on with our kids. There are examples of teens and younger creating six-figure businesses online, becoming published authors before high school, starting foundations to serve 3rd world countries, so we know what's possible.
However, technologies like the internet and smartphones are tools; and just like a hammer, they can be used to build and create or to crush someone's skull. Technology is like a "firehose" that doesn't turn off, and if you aren't strong enough to handle the pressure, it will knock you down. Most of our kids are getting knocked down by it. So what does it mean when I say getting "knocked down" by technology?
When kids start to attach their self-worth to "likes" on Social Media, that's getting "knocked down." When a teenage girl feels the need to "enhance," enlarge or shrink parts of her body because of the models she follows on Instagram; that's getting "knocked down." When a young boy wants to drop out of school and can't concentrate on life because his online gaming addiction has gotten so bad; that's getting "knocked down".
What can we expect as an outcome when we've given our kids FULL access to power tools like the internet, smartphones, and Social Media and never taught them how to use them properly? We can expect more cuts, bruises, pain, and in some cases blood. However, that's still not the scariest part. When our children are wounded externally, we can see it and deal with it immediately. When the majority of the hurt and discomfort happens internally, we may not be able to recognize it until it shows up on the outside; and that may be too late.