17 Things Gen Z Is Killing Off, According to Gen X

As Gen Z becomes adults and enters the workforce, we’re seeing shifts in the social norms set by previous generations. From how they consume media to how they work and shop, Gen Z is rocking the boat, so here are 17 things this generation is ditching.

Cable Television

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Gen Z is moving away from traditional cable subscriptions to more flexible streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+. According to a survey by Insider Intelligence, 46% of Gen Z adults stream video services every day, making it the top media category within this group.

Physical Banks

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With a rise in fintechs and neobanks, Gen Z prefers to manage their finances through mobile apps and online platforms. They’re also increasingly reliant on digital payments, including mobile wallets, and are more interested in cryptocurrencies than older generations.

Email as Primary Communication

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The use of instant messaging platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Instagram has taken over everyday communication and left Gen Z with the opinion that email is too slow or formal for casual conversations. In the working environment, platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams are preferred by this generation.

Traditional 9-to-5 Jobs

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According to CNBC, 46% of Gen Z adults had a secondary job in 2023, which was up 3% from the previous year. This represents the shift towards more flexible, project-based work and away from full-time, permanent positions, known as the gig economy.

Diamonds and Luxury Jewelry

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Gen Z, a generation that has grown up environmentally conscious and educated in sustainability, is not supportive of the ethical and environmental impact of diamond mining. As a result, the generation is favoring vintage pieces that are rich in history rather than brand-new luxury goods.

Traditional Retail Shopping

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As a potential result of the pandemic, Gen Z is ditching brick-and-mortar stores for the convenience and variety that e-commerce offers. They are also showing a preference for brands that demonstrate ethical practices and sustainability and are seeking unique, custom items over mass-produced products.

Print Newspapers and Magazines

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With a desire to reduce carbon footprints and a move away from traditional news outlets, print newspapers and magazines are not a large part of Gen Z’s media consumption. Instead, they’re seeking out this type of content from social media channels, where they can see videos and other visual representations, as well as public opinion.

Manual Transmission Cars

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Over the last few years, there has been a shift to automatic cars, and Gen Z is no different. Perceived as easier to drive and more economical, the shift has left manufacturers decreasing their production of manual models.

Traditional News Outlets

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In a study mentioned by The Independent, results show that Gen Z is ditching traditional media outlets, and “18–24-year-olds were twice as likely to get their news from TikTok than the BBC.” This is partly because they prefer news that comes in visual forms, such as videos and interactive infographics, over traditional written articles.

Linear TV Schedules

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Benefiting from streaming services on tap, Gen Z doesn’t tend to wait for weekly episodes of their favorite shows, instead opting to binge entire series all in one go. This has also led to the creation of personalized viewing schedules, as this generation is no longer dictated by the TV programming of previous times.

Pre-Set Career Paths

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As the gig economy becomes more and more popular, Gen Z is less likely to carve a linear career path, preferring to curate a portfolio of projects and income sources, allowing them to accumulate a range of experiences and skills.

Fast Fashion

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Gen Z is more concerned about the environmental impact and labor practices behind fast fashion than previous generations, and they are therefore looking for alternative ways to shop. They are choosing vintage or secondhand clothing or investing in fewer, high-quality items that last longer and are more versatile.

Loyalty to Single Brands

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Gen Z, a generation that prioritizes quality, ethical practices, and long-term value over brand loyalty, is more likely to switch up the retailers and brands they buy from. This is partially due to the diverse range of endorsements and recommendations they receive from social media influencers.

Traditional Office Spaces

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Mainly entering the workforce during the pandemic, Gen Z has only ever known a world that supports remote and hybrid working. According to Pyn, “Eighty-seven percent of Gen Z workers between 18 to 24 years old who entered the workforce remotely during the pandemic said work-life balance was their top work priority.”

Sit-Down Family Meals

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Gen Z has more on-the-go eating habits and prefers quick, convenient food options that fit their busy lifestyles. The rise of food delivery apps is convenient and allows them to explore diverse cuisines and dietary choices, which might not always align with sit-down family meals.

Traditional College Education

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The cost of education, along with the movement away from traditional career paths, has led to Gen Z turning to online courses, boot camps, and certification programs as alternatives to traditional four-year college degrees. This is in part due to their desire to learn specific, practical skills quickly and efficiently rather than broader academic learning.

Collecting Physical Memorabilia

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As the metaverse looms, NFTs are offering Gen Z a modern alternative to traditional physical collecting and a way to celebrate and support their interests. This is also helped by the minimalist movement, which is leading to a reduced interest in accumulating physical items.

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