Generation Covid and the future……
There is a new generation in town – its Generation Covid also known as Gen C. which includes young people under the age of twenty.
You may be familiar with the other generations:
Gen Z 1997 to 2020 (know for being the social media generation)
Millenials 1981 to 1996 (known for being the technology generation)
Gen X 1965 to 1980 (known for being the dawn of the technology age generation)
Zoomers (Baby Boomers who refuse to age) 1946 to 1964 (known for being the post war/freedom generation)
Traditionalists 1925 to 1945 (known for being the war generation)
There is research that is just beginning about the impact of the pandemic on young people under the age of twenty known as Gen C over the past year and a half.
There is no question that the social impact of the pandemic on everyone is yet to be completely known. It is however particularly interesting to watch and see how Gen C’s experience with the pandemic will shift their choices and behaviors for the future.
Generation C is the ONLY young generation who is living through and will have lived through a pandemic in their formative and adolescent years. In addition to the pandemic Gen C has witnessed through social media increasing racial tensions, inequity in government leadership, the effects of a pandemic on global warming and increasing focus on gender parity.
Needless to say the social change that Gen C will bring will be radical and disruptive to the status quo. There will be many changes created by Generation Covid and the future.
Anecdotally I have a number of clients who have shared some of the struggles they are seeing their young children have over the past eighteen months.
I have heard stories of elementary school aged kids having high levels of anxiety due to either being schooled only online or dealing with constant opens and closures of their schools.
Elementary school aged children are wearing masks (if they are still going to school) and others haven’t been to school for over year or in a few months.
Middle school and high school youngsters have either been doing their schooling predominantly online or a hybrid of part time in class and part time online.
The psychological impact on people and especially young people of being socially isolated will have a ripple effect for the next unforeseeable decades.
Gen C will be known as the pandemic generation who will irrevocably change the future.
We are still gathering data and research on the social impacts of the pandemic and we will be discovering more as we progress.
In regards to the feelings of Generation Covid, we have had a number of parents report that their children are dealing with complex feelings throughout the pandemic that include:
Parents report being concerned about the range of challenging feelings their children have had and the impact of the pandemic on their children’s overall wellbeing.
However parents have also reported positive environmental influences of the pandemic and its impact on their children such as:
- Increased family time due to parents not travelling or commuting
- Increased appreciation by kids of spending time outdoors and in nature
- Increased interest by kids to innovate and connect through technology
- Increased empathy and awareness around other people
- Increased focus on traditional values such as sit down meals
- Increased dialogue and communication due to being together
Values shape all generations – if you take a look at the list above each generation has had their pivotal cultural influences that shaped their views of the world.
Given the range of complex feelings that Gen C have navigated AND given the positive environmental influences it could be safe to surmise the following predictions for Generation Covid and the future:
Gen C will see racial injustice as archaic and unacceptable and will demand reparations and solutions for the future.
Gen C will see gender inequalities and inequities as outmoded and untenable and will seek to bring balance and equality for the future.
Gen C will see work in a new way as they have had their parents home with them during the pandemic and so will expect that they will be able to work anywhere and anytime without hindrance.
Gen C will be the generation where many of parents reverse migrated to rural living and this will results in Gen C having a deeper connection to the earth and therefore the environment.
Gen C will have deeper empathy as a whole for all humans and this will create a drive to make the world a better place through social media.
Gen C will deeply understand the importance of mental well being and health and this will lead to a focus on increased solutions for youth and adults to improve overall health.
Gen C will push for a universal base income to counter the impact of technological transformation through robotics, blockchain and AI.
I don’t know about you but I am excited about the impact that Gen C will have on the future.
What I know for sure is that my two grand kids who are five and 16 months will forever be impacted by the pandemic and that kids are super resilient.
I hold high optimism that the disruptions Gen C are living through will equip them to help us all create a better future.