A friend passed this book on to me recently. It’s a really helpful analysis of the views and values of those sometimes called Generation Z, Homelanders, Founders, or in the case of this book iGen (those born after 1995).

The book is based on four major data sources covering several decades and 11 million people. All the data is from US studies so that needs to be taken into account. In summary, Twenge outlines a number of observable trends of iGen’ers as follows:

  1. Adolescence is lasting longer; adulthood starting later
  2. Huge increase in time spent online
  3. Virtual relationships as important as in-person relationship
  4. More anxious and insecure than ever before (linked to the downsides of #3)
  5. Increasingly irreligious
  6. Non-committal – less bothered about marriage, family, stable career etc.
  7. Increasingly inclusive of LGBT, gender, and race issues
  8. Politically disinterested

I need more time to process this in terms of things to affirm and challenge etc. Initial thoughts would be . . .

  • Finding avenues of meaningful responsibility for young people is a good thing
  • Vigilantly monitoring and limiting screen time is important
  • Finding opportunities for hospitality so that iGen’ers meet and socialise with lots of different sorts of people is a good thing
  • Finding creative ways to engage young minds with worldview, religion, politics, and ethics is maybe one of the biggest challenges we face – but one to which we must rise

It’s a really stimulating read – well worth getting hold of a copy, passing it round, and discussing. Anyone else read anything good on iGen?

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