Three generations. Photo: Adobe Stock Images

You got to love our Baby Boomer parents, but sometimes they either don’t want to change with the times, or they think they know it all because they’ve seen life longer than we’ve been born.

If you aren’t familiar with the generation gap, here is a refresher:

Baby Boomers: 1946-1964

Millennials: 1981-1996

Gen-Z: 1997-2012

Each generation has lived through pretty significant and historical events and it is always interesting to learn about the advancements in life, society, and technology as the years go by.

Here are the top 5 things Gen-Z do but Baby Boomers don’t understand.

Jobs and Careers

Baby Boomers back in their generation put a high importance on education, securing a job, working until your 65 and retiring. That was their version of stability and upward mobility. Gen-Z, however, change jobs every few years for various reasons from low pay, poor working conditions, limited opportunities for professional development and work life balance. They are more focused on entering the workforce sooner, venturing into the entrepreneurial space, and achieving financial stability through non-traditional means like YouTube videos.

Technology

Have you ever struggled to watch your aunties or uncle navigate the use of a smartphone or an app? Cue that Jitterbug commercial. Baby Boomers like an easy to use interface and need plenty of explaining of instruction [don’t shoot the messenger this is real life]. Gen-Z have a short attention span and are very tech savvy. They are practically raised with smartphones attached to their hands.

Values and goals

There are certain key characteristics of Baby Boomers that deserve some major props. They are hard workers and achieved their version of “American Dream”. Boomers valued community and strength in numbers ( mind you they lived through the civil rights movement and women’s empowerment movement). Gen-Z are not so much concerned with traditional life milestones like getting married or graduating from college for example. They are more practical and choose to work smarter and not harder like our parents generation. Gen-Z are very independent and competitive and move with purpose that can’t be obtain through a 9-5.

Mental Health

Baby Boomers grew up in an era where mental health issues weren’t discussed. It was almost taboo. Depression was viewed as a sign of weakness. They were used to pushing through the tough times and not asking for help when situations were difficult. That didn’t mean that they didn’t experience mental health concerns, it just went undiagnosed or untreated. Gen-Z prioritize the soft life and self-care and every other type of health and wellness you can think of. They aren’t afraid to be vocal about their struggles [social media is a big outlet for that] and therapy is a resource for this demographic. Gen-Z aren’t off the hook because their generation suffers the most mental health concerns.

Money

Money talks!! The financial landscape has changed between both generations. Back in the day, Middle class Boomers expected pensions, but 401k are relevant today. Estate planning is another important priority of this generation because they believe in passing down assets to their future children. Gen-Z live in the present. They are very vocal about money especially in the workplace compared to Boomers who weren’t, and they are working to write the financial wrongs of generation past in regards with money.

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...