Gen Z: Borderless World & Identity

In the second part of a three-part series, YMS18 SFO partners Archrival share their insights on how the online world is empowering a new generation...

Gen Z sees a world without borders, boundaries—or rules. They’ve never known a world where connecting with people from around the globe wasn’t as easy as opening an app. Forget nationalities, Zs belong to a global community: Youth. A 16-year-old in Kansas has more in common with a teen in Malawi than a Baby Boomer who lives next door. More than half of teens have made new friends online, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, and many teens will forge their closest relationships on Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat.


Further fueling their global perspective is the fact that Zs are the most diverse generation to date. According to the data, any day now the “minority” population of those 18 and younger will be the majority of the age group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau; by 2043, the entire population will tip minority-majority.


The convergence of tech and ethnic diversity has helped fuel a radically fluid sphere of “self.” Sure, Millennials experimented with identity—testing out different styles and sex partners—but Zs are taking it even farther by expanding the spectrum of gender, race, and sexuality. Today, identity is as wide open as the Google search bar: Zs believe they can be almost any version of themselves that they can dream up. This open-mindedness extends to social issues, and Gen Z will likely be the most tolerant generation to date. For them, milestones such as same-sex marriage, a black president, and gender-neutral bathrooms are simply status quo.

Catch Archrival's Ben Harms speaking on The State of Youth Culture at our youth marketing festival YMS18 SFO this June.