1. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    Understanding "Generation Now" - How?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Dryriver, Oct 23, 2011.

    As a budding writer in his 30s, I sometimes feel that I have virtually no idea or feel for what "Generation Now" - the generation currently in its teens & tweens - is like.

    I ask myself questions like...

    What does GenNow read?
    What does GenNow watch?
    What does GenNow listen to?
    Where does GenNow go on the web?
    What does GenNow study?
    What does GenNow do in its free time?
    What interests GenNow?
    What moves GenNow?
    What turns GenNow on or off? (intellectually and emotionally speaking...)
    How does GenNow define itself?
    How does GenNow live?
    What does GenNow believe or not believe in?
    What issues & themes interest GenNow?
    If you could choose 10 adjectives that describe GenNow, what would they be?

    Of course there are more questions once could ask along these and other lines.

    Would anybody here care to discuss what GenNow is, or indeed is not, like, as young folks belonging to GenNow are likely to be a major portion of the readers of any new novel or book published?

    How does one go about trying to get to the bottom of what GenNow is, or indeed isn't, like?
     
  2. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    As a professor who regularly works with students in the 18 - 21 year range, I can answer some of these questions. The first adjective I would say of students today, those in the GenNow, is "entitled". I have students who attend my classes, pay for them, and then don't do a single thing to pass. They expect to get an A or a B just for showing up! This attitude continually surprises me! As for what they study, I would say a lot of my students are majoring in engineering, computer science, and nursing. They are attracted to the fields that are considered "hot". Also, many are majoring in business or something related. Then again, my viewpoint could be skewed by the level of math I teach; I get students who are more advanced in their math studies because of the level I teach. Things are very available to GenNow much more so than they were to me, who is in my 30's (so not that much older). They have access to information very easily, they all carry cell phones that can instantly connect them to each other and anything they are wondering about. They get bored fairly easily. I think you could spend some time in some capacity with GenNow people to get a real flavor for them. Take some class at a college, or volunteer in some program, or befriend some at a club to see up close what they're like. They're not that much different than you and I, but the major difference is the access to information they've had all their lives that we haven't had. They take it for granted.
     
  3. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm also a university teacher with this age group, so this is again an oldie, outsiders view. I also work in a private, fee-paying university, so of course our students are not a cross section of society, although some are scholarship students who get free tuition. Also, I work in Turkey, but the city is very large and European in outlook. We have quite a few foreigners now as well.

    I agree with the professor above in pretty much all those points above!

    What does GenNow read?
    Not a lot, and hardly ever newspapers. But that’s generalising, of course.
    What does GenNow watch?
    They hardly ever watch TV. They go to the cinema fairly often to see films like Inception.
    What does GenNow listen to?
    A huge variety of tastes, but classic rock and classical music (but not opera) is surprisingly popular.
    Where does GenNow go on the web?
    Violent, comic, porno, look at me type clips on youtube seem popular. Music clips, too.
    What does GenNow study?
    Logistics (very popular) and business administration are the among most popular, then architecture and sociology are well subscribed here. But all courses are filled to capacity. Culinary Arts is becoming fashionable.
    What does GenNow do in its free time?
    Hang out with friends and go shopping.
    What interests GenNow?
    Shopping, music and hanging out with friends.
    What moves GenNow?
    Not a lot, unless you mean can mass hysteria get a grip easily, in which case, anything.
    What turns GenNow on or off? (intellectually and emotionally speaking...)
    Anything that will be covered in the exam. If it’s not tested, most aren’t interested in learning it. However, there are notable exceptions to this—politics, economics especially, environmental issues hardly at all.
    How does GenNow define itself?
    They all think they are unique and will live for ever. In spite of this, they get tattoos done without a second thought. I don’t know if that’s how they would define themselves. I think some of them have a very positive outlook and great sense of humour.
    How does GenNow live?
    Not entirely for the moment, since they build great castles in the air for the future. They don’t ever seem interested in the idea of getting married or having children one day—too young, I guess.
    What does GenNow believe or not believe in?
    Not God, that’s for sure. Or any particular political movement or party.
    What issues & themes interest GenNow?
    The state of the economy and how it affects their father’s wallet.
    If you could choose 10 adjectives that describe GenNow, what would they be?
    Happy, fun to be with, easy-go-lucky, innocent, interesting and a whole lot more. I actually like my students a lot, but they seem very naïve and childish compared to how students were about 30 years ago (but maybe that’s what people thought about my generation!)
     
  4. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    These are some interesting viewpoints. Thanks for posting them.

    The reason I asked is that I wonder whether there is anything more to GenNow than the things that are plainly visible:

    e.g.

    GenNow has 24/7 access to broadband internet, facebook, twitter, youtube and all the rest

    GenNow has smart phones that can tap into the internet and everything that comes with it

    GenNow listens to new music artists like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Black Eyed Peas that weren't around when I was growing up

    GenNow - it seems to me - at least the females, is interested in vampire-romance novels when reading (the last bookstore I visited had an entire shelf made of vampire-werewolf-mystery-romance type novels)

    GenNow plays a hell of a lot of violent online multiplayer games, like Medal of Honor Modern Warfare and Battlefield 2/3, or Role Playing games where the major objective is to play more and more and "rank up"

    GenNow doesn't seem to have a clue about its rights as a consumer/citizen. Computer games, for example, all require online activation/registration before you can play. This is something that would have been unthinkable when I was young.

    I could be wrong, but GenNow seems to have little interest in politics, activisim or international news/affairs compared with previous generations...

    GenNow also seems to be more naive/innocent generally than previous generations before it, which were more politically and socially engaged.

    Keep the comments coming. This is a topic that could be of value to all who write.
     
  5. zaphod
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    zaphod Member

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    heh...

    All I see coming out of this thread is a combination of negative stereotypes and a lack of understanding by older people, coupled with younger people passing off their views and opinions as going for everyone else.

    No offense, but I think the question you are asking doesn't work. You can't understand "generation now" because there is no generation now. Generations are usually defined by some singular event that creates shared experiences, which don't happen very often.

    As for people my age being "entitled" or whatever, yeah older people have always felt that way.
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey, Dryriver, I notice (a bit late) that you are in Turkey as well!

    Do you think one reason the students here could care less about politics is because of the upheavals here during the late 70s-80s? Also, most kids here are really mad about technology and the Net, I mean maybe even more than English kids I know. Perhaps it's just line with the love of conspicuous consumerism and gossip here. And the laws about downloading, pirate CDs, age limits for games etc are difficult to enforce (and not enforced very rigorously). I've noticed a really amoral approach to these problems generally. For example, in my daughter's lesson last week the prof was downloading all sorts of stuff during the lesson that should really have been paid for...

    On the plus side, binge drinking is pretty much unknown here...

    @ zaphod: I did say I was generalising. I'm with you in a way, in that I don't think it's possible to completely understand how a different generation thinks. I would never attempt to write in the POV of a kid living these days, for example.
     
  7. S-wo
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    S-wo Active Member

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    A lot of these seem like generalizations to me and I have to correct you on Battlefield 3 because that game isn't even out yet. I didn't even know the Black Eyed Peas still made music. I would think people as young as 12 wouldn't really have a much of an interest in politics and the subject of it is probably above a lot of their comprehension as to how it impacts the world. As far as people's interest in it in this day and age you would have to consider the events in which it affected people at those times. We had many wars that had drafts like the Vietnam, Korean, and both World Wars. People weren't trying to go to war so of course they would pay attention to it. In times where there was a little more peace it was probably the same way now. I also had a talk with my teacher a few days back about how given in this economy how we don't see any real protests or demonstrations in trying to get new jobs. Her comment was that it could be two options: laziness or fear of not getting a job because someone will videotape you on a camera phone, companies will see it, and nobody will hire you.
     
  8. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    I work in an Australian School, so I'm seeing a lot of Gen Now tweens, and I know "young people" don't like to hear it, but "Entitled" is a pretty good description of the way they act. That said, this could also be explained by teenage arrogance. Your part of the world is going to have a huge effect on what they're like though. In Australia, the tweens are and have been living through a major economic boom due to our massive housing market over the past 10 years, so their parents have tended to be more wealthy than previous generations. The internet via smartphone is also a huge thing in Australia with many tweens having one phone, but 3-4 SIM cards to make use of the maximum amount of data and texting. Apathy is another defining trait for this generation, probably due in large part to nothing in particular happening in Australia over the past twenty years. The driving force in politics in Australia is the Generation X with Y still struggling to arouse a sence of political responsibility. This sense of apathy has been passed on to the new generation. What they're reading in terms of literature is still the vampire nonsense. Twilight, Vampire Diaries, True blood etc. The boys are reading less than the girls, but Robert Muchamore's Cherubs and Matthew Reilly's books are still flying off the shelves. I couldn't tell you what they're listening to. I assume the same generic pop/hip-hop they were listening to 5 and 10 years ago, though I can sense a shift coming. Emo is also still going strong. In terms of games, it's difficult to say. Unquestionably the most publicised game this week has been Batman: Arkham Asylum, though also this week was released the Sims 3: Pets. But, don't assume that that's what's being played by these tweens. I'd be tempted to call it a facebook monopoly.
    It's important to note that we're talking about Teens and Tweens here. That's 12-18 year olds. Politics is never a strong point with this age group. Most of them are still children, and are treated so by their parents. It's very important not to confuse this age group with Generation Y, the 25-35 group. Who have similar, and yet, vastly different tastes. This is because they've had the same experiences, they were just old enough to understand them. They can remember the 9/11 attacks rather than just learning about the aftermath in school. The tweens have had the drought break (again, australia) where as the younger Gen Ys have had most of their life in drought. I think looking at trends like this in the populace could generate some really exciting character depth in stories, so I love looking at it.
     
  9. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    "People try to p-p-put us down..."

    Yes, I think you are right. "Generation now" is about stereotypes, and who (other that populist journalists) wants to write stereotypes? I know teenagers who broadly fit the stereotypes described, and I know lots who don't fit those stereotypes in the slightest. Rather than asking general questions about "generation now" the questioner would do better to find some members of that demographic, ask them for their individual answers to those questions and contemplate the similarities and differences in the answers they give
     
  10. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    I'm located in Istanbul. Any "GenNow" members I talk to directly will reflect only what a handful of teens and tweens in Istanbul like to do with their time.

    A broader thread on the suject of "GenNow", however, has the potential to bring in interesting views and observations from across the globe.

    If you look at the messages posted so far, there are interesting notes and views from - to me - far-flung places like Australia, for example.

    I didn't know anything about Robert Muchamore or Matthew Reilly books until someone mentioned them, for example.

    So everybody, keep the views and observations and discussions about "GenNow" coming...

    If this thread strikes you as non useful on the other hand, just ignore/stay out of it.
     
  11. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh, I'm not suggesting that this isn't a good place to do the asking. But your question seemed to suggest that there was an answer to what this generation is like.
     
  12. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    I was hoping that many, many different answers to the question "What is GenNow like?" would, in aggregate, help to build a picture of what the younger generations are up to these days.

    This is a question Mainstream Media consistently fail to give the space/weight it deserves, so I figured that discussing the question in a forum like this one might lead to some insights.
     
  13. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Okay okay okay. Zaphod is quite right. I am, right now, 19 years of age. Wooh, and stuff. Given that my little sister is 16, I have a fair few younger friends that I hang out with relatively regularly as well as my other friends my own age and older.

    When I was a kid, everything was in the brand names stage. Billabong was cool. Nike was cool. All that rubbish. Rap and hip hop were cool.

    Now, we're an indie generation. It's not about rap and hip hop and it's not always about new music. It's about old classics. It's about The Smiths and The Beatles and music and movies you listened to and watched when you were a kid. It's about independent labels and vintage clothing. Certainly there are the clubbing teens and all that, but we're slowly and surely moving into an almost strictly indie sub-culture which is, ironically, mainstream. But we're not all trying to be indie. We're saying screw you to tradition. Gay marriage is something we stand for. We're mostly non-smokers and we're anti-smoking a lot of the time, and a hell of a lot of us are non-drinkers.

    I'm of the belief that the people in my age group now are the first who will grow up to never be adults. It brings to mind the line from Fight Club: "I'm a 30 year old boy."

    Of course, the media majority - that is, those teens who are seen at large in the media - are into all the popular stuff. A lot of us are into the popular stuff, but you can't go off what they think. They're idiots, and idiots are a dying breed. I look at the high school I went to; my recent ex-girlfriend is nearly finished there, and I know several people still there or who finished in the previous two years. It's not a great school, if you want to be honest about it. It's sub-par as far as intelligence is concerned. But it's taking a step up, where the "cool kids" are the smart people and the musos. When I was in Year 12, there were the cool kids, and there were also the musos who were like the cool kids but not quite as stupid.

    There are still the smart, socially awkward ones, and they'll never be cool kids, but what I'm seeing looks to me like a societal change. And nobody's really documenting it, because we're too focused on idiots who kill themselves and their friends on their provisional driving licences and who go out and get drunk in The Valley.

    Up until last year roughly, I maintained that I was of an older generation because I was semi-raised by my brother, five years older than me. I liked and listened to his music, and I was very much like him in personality, but smarter. :p Over time, I've come to just be a part of this generation. He's still in the older generation with his love of hip hop and rap, and his perseverance towards cool things, as long as he thinks they're cool.

    People in this generation? I think we're growing out of cool. We're growing into, as I said above, the things we liked when we were kids. It's no longer a stigma to play pokémon when you're in your senior years of high school. We're a generation of 15-20 year old guys (and girls too, but that's not the point here) who, for a large part, aren't ashamed to admit we watch a cartoon about ponies (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic), that we're apart of a cult following of the show and call ourselves bronies.

    This is a really long post now. To recap and reiterate my point: we're not like the older generations that do what's cool because it's cool. We do what's cool because we MADE it cool. We individually make our own thing cool, and it's very rarely looked down upon by our peers. Good luck with your study or whatever.
     
  14. JellyBean24
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    I have two little sisters, ages 14 and 15. Spending time with them has really shed some light on what the latest generation is like (I'm quite a bit older, 24...and I feel like their world is a lot different from the one I grew up in), both the positive and negative. If you are really interested in learning about this generation, you should make some efforts to get to know them, as getting secondhand knowledge based on stereotypes or prejudices is not really helpful in getting to the bottom of things. Do you know anybody in this age category that you could spend time with? Maybe a younger cousin? If you don't know anybody, you could try volunteering as a tutor or with an organization like Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Every generation faces its own unique set of problems and issues, but you'll never understand them unless you hear about them from their own point of view.
     
  15. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    I have some grasp of what GenNow here in Istanbul is like. The reason I started this thread, however, is that I want to get some more global/international info on what GenNow elsewhere - maybe living in Berlin, or Amsterdam, or Tokyo, or Brisbane, or LA, or Rejkjavijk or Vancouver - is like.

    So far the answers have been interesting. I have learned about some popular YA writers I didn't know before. I had no idea that there was such a thing as "bronies" or bronying. Madhoca's detailed answers on GenNow have given me things to think about.

    All good information, people.

    Keep it coming if you know something interesting about GenNow that isn't immediately obvious.

    With regards to the "stereotypes" issue, I'd like to say this: The stereotypes shatter as more and more people post interesting knowledge about GenNow.

    Every new good item of information posted takes this thread one more step away from discussing youth "stereotypes", and towards a more in-depth picture of how GenNow lives, thinks, works, reads, dreams, studies, and so on.

    Keep the information coming people. What's been posted so far has been interesting and englightening.
     
  16. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    Oops... double post (fixed)
     
  17. tristan.n
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    tristan.n Active Member

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    I think the people of GenNow are very impatient, very hopeful, and very contradictory. They hate technology but get excited about new iPads. They want to save the earth but most don't recycle. They want to start their own businesses and accomplish their lifelong goals but don't want to go to college for it. Despite all of this, the main thing to keep in mind is that everyone is unique, and not all people conform to GenNow (although being a nonconformist is very GenNow itself lol). :)

    I'm 21 and not sure if I could answer for a generation since I'm a little old-fashioned in ways, but here's what I make of the world (in answering your questions):

    What does GenNow read?
    Magazines and blogs for younger people, but you'd be surprised at how many people pick up a book (well, a Kindle in most cases, but still).

    What does GenNow watch?
    Anything but the news and weather. I'd say most people prefer something under comedy, probably as an escape from all of the foretelling of a worsening economy and global warming, etc.

    What does GenNow listen to?
    Crappy synthetic music.

    Where does GenNow go on the web?
    Facebook and Twitter, mostly. If you're going to write about "Generation Now," please don't write about Myspace. That's a thing of the past and most people of this generation consider it kids' stuff. Even Facebook is starting to lose its original appeal.

    What does GenNow study?
    It seems like everyone my age is going into the medical, engineering, or business fields. They want to be doctors, computer engineers, or head hancho business owners--anything that will guarantee them money (although the latter is a little riskier).

    What does GenNow do in its free time?
    A big part of GenNow is being busy, it seems. If you don't fill up your life with hobbies, work, school, and community service, then you're seen as lazy or someone who only gets by in life. People of GenNow may not want to put forth the effort to save the world from greenhouse gasses, but it's because they've got no time between school, work, sports, etc. And those who have all the time in the world are usually just blowing smoke (sometimes literally: "Hey we should start a relief fund for Joplin to help with all of the tornado damage, but right after we smoke this weed."). Yeah right.

    What interests GenNow?
    Tons of things interest GenNow, but I'd say that anything liberal, self-changing, and ironically old-fashioned are hot topics. People are looking to find their purpose in life and make changes to better their lifestyles, especially when it comes to physical health, whether it's by doing yoga, going vegan, yadda yadda yadda. And as far as old-fashioned goes, people my age want to reinvent older morals and values and incorporate them into a society of higher tolerance and technology.

    What moves GenNow?
    This is a hard one to answer because there's not much. In spite of all the attempts to bring society together, individuals still have that "Me, me, me!" attitude, so it's different for every person. I couldn't even tell you what moves me until it happens.

    What turns GenNow on or off? (intellectually and emotionally speaking...)
    Controversial subjects or anything that is opinionated. Just recently I sat with about ten other people and we discussed everything you can debate about, it seems, including religion, abortion, same sex marriages, politics, differences between working men and working women, troops overseas, global warming, etc. etc. Needless to say, it was a long conversation. Anyway, GenNow is interested in voicing their opinions rather than talking about facts and known subjects.

    How does GenNow define itself?
    We all think we're unique, but we're all pretty mainstream because of it. Being known as a geek or being "out there" or being of a different religion/nationality/sexual orientation is very "in" because not too long ago those things made you stand out.

    How does GenNow live?
    With standards too high for their incomes.

    What does GenNow believe or not believe in?
    This is another hard one to answer. Usually someone of Generation Now has two or more opinions on everything.

    What issues & themes interest GenNow?
    Again, anything that can be opinionated, so that's quite a broad variety of things.

    If you could choose 10 adjectives that describe GenNow, what would they be?
    Entitled, impatient, short-sighted (in terms of their futures), and inspired. Yes, I know that's not ten words, but that's really all you need.

    To sum it up, GenNow doesn't like most aspects of today's society and can't wait for the future, and I mean they really can't wait--they want it now! I like to think I'm not like the rest of Generation Now, but because of that I probably am. lol I hope this helps you!
     
  18. tristan.n
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    I think the people of GenNow are very impatient, very hopeful, and very contradictory. They hate technology but get excited about new iPads. They want to save the earth but most don't recycle. They want to start their own businesses and accomplish their lifelong goals but don't want to go to college for it. Despite all of this, the main thing to keep in mind is that everyone is unique, and not all people conform to GenNow (although being a nonconformist is very GenNow itself lol). :)

    I'm 21 and not sure if I could answer for a generation since I'm a little old-fashioned in ways, but here's what I make of the world (in answering your questions):

    What does GenNow read?
    Magazines and blogs for younger people, but you'd be surprised at how many people pick up a book (well, a Kindle in most cases, but still).

    What does GenNow watch?
    Anything but the news and weather. I'd say most people prefer something under comedy, probably as an escape from all of the foretelling of a worsening economy and global warming, etc.

    What does GenNow listen to?
    Crappy synthetic music.

    Where does GenNow go on the web?
    Facebook and Twitter, mostly. If you're going to write about "Generation Now," please don't write about Myspace. That's a thing of the past and most people of this generation consider it kids' stuff. Even Facebook is starting to lose its original appeal.

    What does GenNow study?
    It seems like everyone my age is going into the medical, engineering, or business fields. They want to be doctors, computer engineers, or head hancho business owners--anything that will guarantee them money (although the latter is a little riskier).

    What does GenNow do in its free time?
    A big part of GenNow is being busy, it seems. If you don't fill up your life with hobbies, work, school, and community service, then you're seen as lazy or someone who only gets by in life. People of GenNow may not want to put forth the effort to save the world from greenhouse gasses, but it's because they've got no time between school, work, sports, etc. And those who have all the time in the world are usually just blowing smoke (sometimes literally: "Hey we should start a relief fund for Joplin to help with all of the tornado damage, but right after we smoke this weed."). Yeah right.

    What interests GenNow?
    Tons of things interest GenNow, but I'd say that anything liberal, self-changing, and ironically old-fashioned are hot topics. People are looking to find their purpose in life and make changes to better their lifestyles, especially when it comes to physical health, whether it's by doing yoga, going vegan, yadda yadda yadda. And as far as old-fashioned goes, people my age want to reinvent older morals and values and incorporate them into a society of higher tolerance and technology.

    What moves GenNow?
    This is a hard one to answer because there's not much. In spite of all the attempts to bring society together, individuals still have that "Me, me, me!" attitude, so it's different for every person. I couldn't even tell you what moves me until it happens.

    What turns GenNow on or off? (intellectually and emotionally speaking...)
    Controversial subjects or anything that is opinionated. Just recently I sat with about ten other people and we discussed everything you can debate about, it seems, including religion, abortion, same sex marriages, politics, differences between working men and working women, troops overseas, global warming, etc. etc. Needless to say, it was a long conversation. Anyway, GenNow is interested in voicing their opinions rather than talking about facts and known subjects.

    How does GenNow define itself?
    We all think we're unique, but we're all pretty mainstream because of it. Being known as a geek or being "out there" or being of a different religion/nationality/sexual orientation is very "in" because not too long ago those things made you stand out.

    How does GenNow live?
    With standards too high for their incomes.

    What does GenNow believe or not believe in?
    This is another hard one to answer. Usually someone of Generation Now has two or more opinions on everything.

    What issues & themes interest GenNow?
    Again, anything that can be opinionated, so that's quite a broad variety of things.

    If you could choose 10 adjectives that describe GenNow, what would they be?
    Entitled, impatient, short-sighted (in terms of their futures), and inspired. Yes, I know that's not ten words, but that's really all you need.

    To sum it up, GenNow doesn't like most aspects of today's society and can't wait for the future, and I mean they really can't wait--they want it now! I like to think I'm not like the rest of Generation Now, but because of that I probably am. lol I hope this helps you!
     
  19. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    I'm 24 with a Computer Science degree and a job if you are wondering what my bias is on this debate. I'm kind of "in between" what you call GenNow and the older generation. I still remember VHS and audio tapes and walkmans and all that. But at the same time I now have facebook and an Mp3 player/itunes w/e.

    To answer your question, it really depends on what really the question you are asking is. Because if we are just talking about what GenNow does in general... you can talk about how technology has given them access to pretty much anything they want. Cellphones have certainly changed the game as well. And they probably listen to whatever is considered popular music right now (I'm completely out of touch with today's music so don't even ask). I think those are the three things that "define" the generation. However... when trying to talk about what the general attitude of the new generation, I think most people are really far off. You are correct in what you say, but it's about a specific subset of that generation... because most people are coming into contact with ONLY the subset of GenNow that stands out from their reference point.

    I consider myself to be an introvert. You aren't going to see me in public too often, so unless you work with me, or know me through my small group of friends... you will have no clue that I even exist (other than through forums like these obviously). Like I said, I'm 24 so I wouldn't put myself in this group... but the point I'm trying to make is that there is probably a group of GenNow that you just aren't going to see unless you are in the "inner circle" of those people. So, it really depends on what you want to know. Do you want to know what the stereotype is? Do you want to know how the world looks at them? Or are you trying to perhaps make a character that is that age and you just want to know what their "life" is like. If it's closer to the first two questions I think the majority of the posters got it right, but if it's the last one... I would venture to guess that a single individual chosen at random from that generation probably isn't like what people are saying they are like. The only thing you can really say is that technology has changed and probably has an effect on every individual in that generation.
     
  20. Blackwood
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    Blackwood Member

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    Being 21 I don't know if I still included in the GenNow culture?

    However, I am very guilty of this.

    I understand that the average human concentration period is roughly 20 minutes? Would the older people on this forum say that they were able to concentrate for longer due to the lack of "distractions" they had.
     
  21. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    All people are different by nature, to try and sum them up in one giant category is ignorant.

    Even if you could sum everyone up in this "GenNow," and then write a book based off of their likes and dislikes, it would be irrelevant by the time you wrote the book, found an agent, found a publisher and then the time it takes for the book to finally come out. Your "GenNow" would be long gone and new one will have taken its place.

    You need to not worry about what you think people want, and to just write something that means something to you. It will come across in your words, that will make anyone in the world of all ages want to read your work. Not trying to write about some passing fad. Write something that will be respected throughout history. That is a much better goal.
     
  22. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    I can feel in my gut that if I ever get my work published, perhaps 20 - 40% of my readers will likely be GenNow'ers in their teens and tweens, with the rest being older readers of my age (30s) or older.

    This is why I am trying to get some insight into how GenNow in various places lives, thinks, reads, watches, socializes, and interacts with the bigger issues out there.

    I'm trying to gauge, for example, whether GenNow is patient enough to read a book that has a slow plot build-up phase of multiple chapters, and whether the issues I address in the book - many different issues - will interest readers who are of a younger generation than mine.

    What Blackwood wrote for example is interesting:

    Yes, I was able to concentrate for more than 20 minutes, because everything from the books I read, to the films I watched, to the textbooks/texts I had to study in school and university demanded being able to concentrate for several hours at a time. A typical "session" of doing something, like reading a book, would last anywhere from 2 to 6 hours.

    If GenNow can't concentrate for longer than, say, 20 minutes to 1 hour, then reading/finishing the novel I am writing will be quite hard a challenge.

    Please keep the observations about "GenNowers" coming.

    I feel that I'm learning a lot from the posts that the mainstream media doesn't really bother to cover.

    I find it interesting, for example, that many posters have described GenNow'ers as "entitled" and "dreaming about the future". This is something I wasn't aware of.


    Perhaps I should pose another few concrete questions to keep this thread interesting to the "writers" in us...

    Q - What are GenNow's 10 favorite writers or intellectuals?

    Q - What 5 larger issues or themes are GenNow'ers most interested in?

    Q - What do GenNow'ers like most in films they watch and books they read?

    Q - What do GenNow'ers dislike most in films, books, magazines and on the internet?

    Q - What does a typical GenNow'er expect to get out of, or find in, a 350 page paperback novel that costs 5 - 8 Dollars/Euros/Pounds (et cetera)?


    Keep the comments coming in. I feel that with every post, I am learning a little more about the world GenNow'ers live in.
     
  23. Dryriver
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    Dryriver Senior Member

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    Of course it is, JHunter. But the sad reality is that any agent/publisher I send my work to will, without a doubt, ask themselves sales-related questions like "Will teens & tweens read this and like it? Will the average internet book buyer order this?"

    I don't intend to dumb my work down to make it appeal to GenNow'ers or anything like that.

    At the same time, I know that there are small alterations I can make throughout the text, to make the experience of reading it more "compatible" with GenNow'ers, or indeed older people.

    There is nothing wrong with doing a little market/audience research while writing a book, I think.

    It would be infinitely worse to write a 350 page novel over 12 gruelling months, then get it rejected from 10 different agents/publishers because they all feel that the way the book is written totally ignores what contemporary audiences expect to get out of a book...

    I do realize that a lot of books that are considered "classics" today are considered to be that because they are - or were for their time - uncompromising in their approach.

    I'm hoping to find a balance between preserving the integrity of the ideas/issues in the novel, and the integrity of the writing style, and finding a way to make the reading experience "compatible" with contemporary readers who will read it in 2012 or 2013 if it gets published.

    I get your point about "writing for the ages" though. :cool: All I can say is, I'm trying my best...
     
  24. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    The one thing I notice is that there is a growing gap in moral standards. Meaning that the "middle class" of moral standards is disappearing. They tend to be very good or really could careless.

    I'm amazed at the straight moral compass of many of the kids. They will stand up for what they believe in and peer pressure holds less sway than it did a few years ago. Of course there are those at the opposite extreme who will also stand up for what they believe in but tend to believe in and fight for things that are not healthy for society as a whole.

    I also enjoy some of the words they use. I know every generation has their own words but somehow the ones now are more amusing to me. My favorite is "ish" meaning sort of.
    "Did you get your homework done?"
    "Ish."
    Okay, maybe that example isn't so amusing for the parent. :)

    So one more thought, the age itself lends to the feeling of Entitlement and the dreaming of the future. Although I believe this group takes the cake on entitlement. Saddly enough, I think it's a problem the parents created.
     
  25. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    It is impossible to write something that appeals to everyone, that is my point. This "GenNow" you keep trying to figure out is filled with numerous different views and beliefs, more so than any other generation before it. You cannot appeal to them all, they are not all lumped into one unifying element. I am sure publishers have this figured out already.

    Sorry for the redundancy, but again, write about what always works and will make it through the test of time. Not some passing fad that a partial chunk of "GenNow" may or may not like.

    I will be twenty-seven in February, so I am partially in this "GenNow" you are trying to figure out and I am telling you first hand how it is. So take the information how you will. I am only trying to help.
     

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