19 Reasons Why Boomers Think Gen Z Are Too Soft

Generation wars have happened since the beginning of time, but it seems like the one between boomers and Gen Z is only getting started. We are going to look into 19 reasons why boomers believe Gen Z is too soft.

Short Attention Spans

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Technology has made it increasingly difficult to focus on tasks without constant stimulation. This has led to a growth in the preference for bite-sized information and quick entertainment options. According to IAB UK, Gen Z has an average attention span of about eight seconds. Ultimately, sticking to long-term projects has become more of a challenge than it should be.

Constant Need for Validation

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Gen Z’s engagement with social media has resulted in a constant need for validation, where likes and followers serve as measures of approval and success. Morning Consult reports that 35% of Gen Z spend four hours or more on social media every day. This dependency makes dealing with failure or rejection more challenging, as they rely on external validation to feel valued.

Reliance on Technology

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One thing Gen Z is known for is their preference for digital communication over face-to-face interactions. Their heavy dependence on smartphones and social media for information and entertainment makes it difficult for them to deal with tasks without the aid of technology.

Lack of Practical Life Skills

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Gen Z has also been found to have difficulty performing basic tasks like cooking, budgeting, or manual repairs. They often rely on apps and services for their everyday needs, reducing their self-reliance. There is clearly a lack of understanding of how to navigate non-digital challenges.

Perceived Entitlement Attitude

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Today’s young ones also tend to have expectations for immediate success without traditional hard work. Many of them believe in deserving special treatment or opportunities without earning them. This has led to impatience with career progression, expecting rapid advancement.

Overemphasis on Emotional Well-being

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Prioritizing feelings and personal comfort over resilience and grit is another hallmark of Gen Z.

They expect workplaces and educational institutions to cater to emotional needs, something many boomers don’t seem to understand.

Decreased Physical Activity

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Studies are showing less engagement in outdoor activities and manual labor by the younger generations. Teenagers and young adults prefer virtual gaming and online interactions over physical play. This is one of the key factors in the increasing rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyle-related health issues.

Avoidance of Hardship

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Some boomers say that Gen Z can’t deal with hardship, displaying less willingness to engage in difficult situations or manual labor. They often expect solutions to challenges to be quick and straightforward, avoiding tasks requiring significant effort.

Fragility in the Face of Criticism

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Gen Z’s sensitivity to criticism often results in defensive reactions, as they tend to perceive feedback as personal attacks rather than opportunities to grow. This fragility makes them less resilient and adaptable, highlighting the need for developing thicker skin.

Dependency on Safe Spaces

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Gen Z is always communicating their need for environments where they feel protected and unchallenged. While seeking safety is understandable, expecting the world to adapt to their comfort zones is not a realistic approach.

Over-reliance on Mental Health Awareness

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While awareness of mental health is undoubtedly important, there is a concern that Gen Z may be over-relying on diagnosing normal life stresses as mental health conditions. This eagerness to seek professional help can hinder the development of coping mechanisms and resilience.

Disconnection from Nature

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Gen Z’s limited exposure to and appreciation for natural environments is rightfully concerning to boomers. They tend to stay indoors for days, with no desire to spend time outdoors in nature. Research shows that Gen Z is the least likely generation to spend time outdoors, opting for digital entertainment instead.

Materialism and Consumerism

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In today’s consumer-driven society, there’s a growing trend to value possessions and the latest gadgets more highly than non-material possessions. This constant pursuit of the newest trends can lead to financial irresponsibility, in addition to prioritizing the wrong things in life.

Fear of Taking Risks

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Avoidance of situations that might lead to failure or embarrassment may protect you in the short term but may hamper growth in the long term. It can also limit opportunities for innovation and personal achievement, stifling growth and the development of resilience in the face of challenges.

Need for Instant Gratification

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The need for instant gratification is increasingly evident among Gen Z, with many showing impatience for processes that require time to yield results. This desire for shortcuts shows a reluctance to engage with the learning curves and the mastery that comes from persistence.

Lack of Commitment

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There’s a notable lack of commitment observed in some areas, manifesting in difficulties sticking with long-term commitments in relationships, jobs, or hobbies. Actions like “ghosting” and avoiding confrontational endings show that Gen Z is opting for casual, non-binding engagements over deep, lasting connections.

Overprotection by Parents

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Overprotection by parents has led to a generation less familiar with failure and struggle. This lack of opportunity to face and learn from mistakes cultivates an expectation that authorities or institutions will always provide solutions to their problems.

Political Correctness Over Practicality

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Prioritizing language and policies that avoid offending sometimes comes at the cost of insincere interactions and difficulty communicating. In the long term, this might lead to a lack of freedom of expression in favor of inclusivity and sensitivity.

Lack of Historical Perspective

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A concerning trend among Gen Z is a limited understanding of the contexts and struggles faced by previous generations. A survey found that 63% of Gen Z and millennial participants didn’t know that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. This tendency to dismiss the achievements and hardships of those who came before undermines the appreciation for progress made and lessons learned through history.

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