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Are you curious about what the hottest topics are that Gen Zs discuss?
Do you want to know more about how Gen Z is reshaping the world and navigating their own unique challenges?
Welcome to a new series where we’re writing straight to our elders, our beloved Boomers, in hopes of uncovering generations-old secrets and lessons.
Today, we will get down to basics as we ask some of the burning questions that have kept Gen Z scratching their heads for years, finally piecing together answers directly from your hard-earned wisdom.
So let’s not waste any time!
Put on your best-listening ears; here’s everything Generation Z wants to know from you!
#1. What Is Your View On TikTok
Gen Z embraces technology and trends, it begs the question, but how do Boomers perceive them?
Let’s hear what one Boomer had to say about the ubiquitous TikTok.
“I think it’s a massive and amazing tool for creativity, because you have to encapsulate so much in such a short space of time.”
#2. Why Do All Boomers Find Windfarms So Ugly?
Gen Z is known for their support of the global warming issue and for finding other energy sources.
One question was asked about wind farms, and here is what our Boomer had to say.
“Well, I wouldn’t want to live next to one, put it like that. I wouldn’t say I find them ugly. I think I find them intriguing. I actually prefer wind farms to solar panels. They look a bit more elegant, if I may say. Having these massive solar panels looks strange in the beautiful countryside.”
#3. What Is the One Thing You Wish You Had Known Before You Were 30?
Hindsight is 20/20, which is why it can be great to look to the future and ask those with more wisdom to glimpse into their past. Some say you should invest earlier, so your money has time to grow.
Others talked about taking more risks. One Boomer said, “If I’d known before 30 that as you get older you have less energy, I would have had my children much earlier. Because what you don’t want is when you take your son to school and people say: ‘Is that your grandad?’”
Another person responded, “When you look back, failure isn’t a terrible thing. It’s actually quite often a positive thing. You can learn from it, you can grow from it. When I was under 30, I was very anxious about failing and I think I missed out. I wouldn’t worry about failing. I would be bold.”
#4. Why Do You Always Get to the Airport So Early?
One Boomer responded perfectly to this question, saying, “A lot of generation Z, they leave everything to literally the last minute and don’t think about the possibility of anything going wrong. But we were brought up in a generation where things could go wrong. Technology wasn’t reliable. Cars weren’t as reliable. Electrical stuff wasn’t reliable. So we had to leave plenty of time in case things didn’t go right. That’s carried over in our attitude.”
Planning and looking long-term at things is critical, not just living in the moment. Sadly, more and more people are focused on short-term gratification than planning for the long term.
#5. What Is Your Generation’s Obsession With Facebook?
The curiosity surrounding social media goes both ways, with many older generations wondering why young people spend so much time on it and younger generations wondering what older people may have against it.
However, this isn’t always the case.
Regarding this question, one Boomer says, “I am on Facebook, but I’m not obsessed with it. I just use it to connect with my family and friends worldwide. I don’t really go and post things in it, unless there’s an occasion like a family wedding and some people couldn’t come.”
#6. Have You Changed Opinion Politically Since You Were a Young Adult?
As we go through life, some of our beliefs and opinions will naturally be challenged by various people and situations we encounter.
This has changed some Boomers, but not all.
Some have had their views softened or slightly hardened with time. However, others have remained steadfast in their political beliefs.
As it is with the younger generation, there’s a wide range of people on the political spectrum when it comes to Boomers, and some of these views have shifted as the world has, while others firmly know who they are regardless of the political climate.
#7. What Is Your Best Advice for How to Achieve Financial Security?
Older generations, like Boomers, have a lot of advice to offer younger generations going through many economic issues.
Arguably the most highlighted response was investing, as compounded interest will ensure that Gen Z has money to use once they retire.
However, other excellent answers included taking out a life insurance policy and developing a side hustle to bring in more income.
#8. What Do You Think of the Rising Awareness of Mental Health – And Do You Wish You Had the Same Awareness When You Were Younger?
Most Boomers can agree with the sentiments of this response, “Definitely. It was taboo for us growing up. We couldn’t even talk about mental health. People would be locked up in what we used to term “mental homes” and that was it. It’s so good that mental health is being addressed now and it’s not a taboo.”
Growing up, you were taught to “deal with it” or, in the case of men, “boys don’t cry.” There is much more awareness about mental health now, which is good.
#9. What Do You Admire in Younger People Today?
When asked this question, Boomers said they admire younger generations for their ability to cope with stress and challenging times, persevering to carve their own path and create something better.
While the answers varied, one person said, “For me, it’s how they’ve coped with the pandemic. I think they’ve had the worst time of any group, really. Obviously, not from the sickness and death point of view, but the fact that when you’re young your life is going out, meeting other people, doing all of that. They’ve had to do without a lot of it.”
#10. What Mistakes Did Your Generation Make, and What Can Gen Z Learn From Them?
Perhaps one of the most impactful questions is this one, and the answers vary from person to person.
Some people spoke about the different attitudes they held in our time, like those they had toward women.
Another area that Boomers were unhappy about was the fact that they were always doing what they were told to do rather than what they believed was right.
One person said, “For me, it’s our generation’s failure to act on climate change. We know what we need to do, but we lack the individual and political leadership to change the way we live and protect the environment. Our failure will be felt for generations to come.”
#11. Do You Think Young People Are Overly Sensitive and Privileged?
This question is undoubtedly on every young person’s mind, mainly because older individuals have been portrayed as believing that all younger people are “lazy” or “entitled.”
However, that’s not truly the case here.
While elders recognize that they may have had more responsibilities in things like paper routes, they also acknowledge that today’s youth are navigating an entirely different landscape which can often require taking on more and different responsibilities.
They also understand that sensitivity can be a good thing and that this younger generation strives to be more empathetic than previous ones.
#12. Why Do You Hate Selfies?
When the topic turned to selfies, all the Boomers agreed, they don’t hate selfies. They simply dislike the volume of selfies some people take.
Everyone, regardless of their generation, can agree on this.
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This thread inspired this article.
I have over 15 years experience in the financial services industry and 20 years investing in the stock market. I have both my undergrad and graduate degrees in Finance, and am FINRA Series 65 licensed and have a Certificate in Financial Planning.
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