by Day One Agency

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Q&A's

How do you feel about social media?

"That it’s addictive."

"Recently uninspired but tentatively optimistic about the future."

"It’s a double-edged sword; it’s entertaining and a fun creative outlet, but it's also addictive and (if unregulated) a risky echo-chamber. For example, a lot of my friends have been cutting their screen time or straying away from posting too much as a means to protect their mental health. On a positive note, I am glad outlets like social media can at least offer a platform for people to raise awareness on important issues, help people find a community, and spotlight small businesses and creators."


Do you like modern art or traditional?

"Primarily, I think I’d go with traditional? There’s some modern art I love but sometimes it gets a little too abstract for me (a pile of sand against a corner, paper mache looking sculptures, strips of LED lights on the floor, etc.)"

"Both!"

"My art history/modern art knowledge is a bit scattered between the two—thanks to weird college requirements lol—but different aspects of both resonate."

"Both are great, although I’d probably lean more toward surreal modern artists like Frida Kahlo or Salvador Dali. Frankly, I’m not a big fan of abstract art; however, I do respect it. Also, I’m not sure people would consider the impressionist movement as part of early modern or late traditional art; however, I’ve noticed it’s had a bit of a resurgence these past few years."


Do they like to read?

"Yes! Reading is my go-to before bed activity to cut down on screen time, plus it’s just an enjoyable way to relax. I can go through slumps from time to time depending how busy I am, but I typically get through two books a month."

"Definitely. Agree with the above. I’m trying to cut down on screen time as well, so I read before bed. When it’s nice out, I’ll read outside as well."

"Same ^ I’d admit to being a bit of a picky reader so I like to have a few going at once, depending what I’m feeling."

"Yes, though I admit, I need to read more."


Where do you look for interesting trends & content in food?

"I don’t really seek out food trends or content so most of what I get food-wise is through my friends IG stories (if they post restaurant/food content, which I’m not a huge fan of)."

"Same as the above, I don’t actively seek out food content but I do get a lot of it on TikTok, both restaurant recommendations around NYC and interesting at-home recipes for meals/cocktails (mostly cocktails, not sure what that says about me)."

"Although I love food and look for new places to eat, I don’t actively follow/look for food content. How I find places to eat/recipes are through my FYP on TikTok. Creators like @newt on TikTok are fun to watch, especially since his voiceovers are fun."

"TikTok."

"I don’t actively look for food content; however, if I ever stumble upon some kind of creative, aesthetic, or cool-looking food content, it’s usually either through TikTok, Instagram, or Pinterest."

"I’m not much of a cook, but when I need a recipe or want to try something fun I’ll search for it on Pinterest and on TikTok."


What type of branded content would you most likely interact with?

"I think branded content that leans informational vs. trying to be cool or funny."

"Probably if it’s a giveaway?"

"This question always feels like a trap haha, but I don’t think there’s a 'type' per se, I just have to be caught off guard and not realize it’s branded immediately."

"Those that don’t look branded."

"^^"

"^^"


Why do you buy vintage clothing?

"Because something that’s 'new' doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s more desirable. Tends to be cheaper and (if you go to spots that aren’t overrun, there are some really solid finds)."

"I like the sustainability aspect of it. And I enjoy the shopping experience for vintage more than buying new, online and off."

"^Likewise, a large part of why I prefer thrifting or shopping vintage is due to sustainability. I also just enjoy vintage shopping since my style is more attached to retro/ old aesthetics."

"I feel like anything I buy that's vintage is almost one of a kind. Nowadays you walk into a store and everyone is buying the same shirt that's trending or pants."


What's your favourite way to learn?

"Unexpectedly. But actually, reading something and taking notes by hand. Or annotating a book."

"I like learning things hands-on. I find it better to learn while listening and carrying the action throughout, because I will forget if I’m only told how to do it."

"I think the 'learning spark' comes from talking to people! Whether it’s friends of mine, conversations at work, (formerly) interviews for articles, or whatever. And then I like to go back, do some reading, and talk again. But I need there to be other people involved lol."

"As a learner, I’m very hands on and visual, so doing things like writing notes down or having something explained to me with visual examples helps."

"I learn things through video or pictures. I am more of a visual learner."

"YouTube is my best friend here. Whether it’s a short, practical 'how-to' video or a long form video essay from someone like ContraPoints or Tiffany Ferguson, I’m always learning something new from the comfort of my own bed."


What is Gen Z struggling with the most?

"Existential dread."

"^Lol. I think that, but especially just the overwhelming uncertainty in terms of long term planning or investments of time, money and effort."

"I wouldn’t say this is specific to Gen Z, but I do think today’s youth really cares about mental health, especially battling anxiety and depression."

"Saving money while trying to have a social life."

"It can be hard to get excited about the future given what we know about climate change, and the lack of action we’ve seen on many social issues in our lifetime. It’s pretty depressing, but there have been bright spots to be excited about too."


Do you vote, and if so what drives your vote?

"Of course I do. Sometimes I wish there were some more inspirational candidates to vote for, but it’s the most important constitutional duty we have. One that shouldn’t be taken for granted."

"Always! It might sound a bit cynical or reductive to say but the necessity of voting—and the alternative— is basically what drives my vote. Similar to above ^ pretty uninspired by the candidates themselves."

"Yes, I do. Even if I’m not always thrilled with my options, I feel a sense of duty to vote for candidates who are going to best serve the groups and causes I care about, and do the most good during their time in office."

"I do vote! I think the biggest driver inspiring my vote selection is the discourse I witness on social media in relation to a candidate."

"Yes, yes and YES. To me, voting represents one of the most important things we can do to make our communities better and just. I believe that it's more important to be active in local government and politics because that is something people can engage with more often, but unfortunately social media only gives visibility and importance for presidential elections. In reality there is more local corruption going unnoticed that will affect your everyday life, than on a national level."


Are you familiar with oldies music at all, like The Supremes, Beach Boys, etc.?

"Yes, absolutely. 'Oldies' are really all I’ve been listening to recently."

"Set me free, why don’t you babe! Love The Supremes. A lot of my Gen Z friends un-ironically listen to Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffet (a little later, but still on the older side), yacht rock kind of had a moment last year."

"Yes. The first time I heard The Beach Boys was when I was 10ish y/o in Happy Feet when all the penguins go swimming and the rest was history."

"Yes! I grew up listening to the oldies with my dad & still do."

"Not at the slightest!"

"Nope. I know the classics like The Beatles, but not too much."

"Let's just say I have Spotify playlists dedicated to the 70s, 80s and late 90s."

"I love ABBA and I think watching Mama Mia had a lot to do with that. I also love the Bee Gees. I’m very into oldies disco and I see it rising within Gen Z. Japanese City Pop is huge on TikTok."


Do you listen to the radio?

"Rarely."

"Nope. I only hear the radio when it’s playing in an Uber or cab."

"No but a lot of new music discovery platforms and IRL spaces marketed to the older Gen Z/young Millennial sets position themselves as kind of radio-esque like NTS Radio, Cashmere Radio, and Rise Radio (Poolside was also formerly Poolside FM, ofc). I keep loose tabs on what they’re all up to."

"Only when I’m not in my own car."

"Only when my bluetooth doesn’t work."

"Nope."

"I prefer silence over radio."

"Yes, because I still want all the tea from Ryan’s Roses. I also grew up listening to COAST 103.5 FM (if you’re in Los Angeles or Orange County you might be familiar with it) and love listening to the voice of their Morning Show Hosts, Ellen K. When I started hosting my own podcast, I literally tried to emulate her voice."

"I listen to 'radio' on Apple music that is created by either music curators or musicians. Stuff like Frank Ocean’s Blonded Radio, Vince Staples’ Ramona Radio, Travis Scott’s .wav Radio, and more. They have a radio feel since there is discussion displaced throughout the episodes, but rarely do I listen to them live. On occasion I will listen to NPR while I work to stay up on current events."


Do you like commercials or ads that are targeted specifically to Gen Z?

"Nope, not one bit. I’m not into targeted ads in general. I saw an ad for a bank that mentioned the word 'Cheugy' and it made me want to throw my phone at a wall."

"I don't see many commercials nowadays, but when I come across one that is trendy, it’s either cringy or funny. 50/50 chance."

"No, it's cringe."

"Usually no but there are some decent TikTok ads that will get me sometimes. It just has to not feel like an ad, which in some cases defeats the purpose."


How do they treat their money?

"I vacillate between feeling the need to save a lot, and spending somewhat 'recklessly' on clothes, food, drinks, movies, etc. I saved a lot of money during COVID, so I think coming out of quarantine, I felt there was this need, not only to 'revenge spend,' but also this kind of (and I’m sorry in advance) YOLO mentality. You never know when the world might shut down, when you might not be able to see your friends or family for 18 months, so why not enjoy life when you can? But then, of course, I think I should probably start investing my money a bit more intelligently…"

"I have a very 'work hard, play hard' mentality when it comes to money. I invest pretty heavily through both a company-sponsored 401k and have auto-transfer on each month for my personal investment accounts, which make me feel better about the more unhinged spending I do. It’s all about balance, pun intended."

"Chaotic but I do try to save! Here’s a snapshot of some weekend purchases: 3x mezcal margs, 1x eBay book purchase, first ittie-bittie bit of Bitcoin."


Do you shop in store?

"I largely prefer to shop in person. If I’m shopping online, it’s either on eBay, or an impulse purchase. I really enjoy well curated retail stores—the design, the music, of course the ability to actually try the clothes on IRL."

"No, I do all my shopping online. I think it’s easier to see all of the options."

"I like shopping in person for clothing. I find shopping online a bit overwhelming and usually end up making more impulsive purchases than I do IRL (plus I’m bad at eye-balling my size in anything). For other things, like hair/beauty products, I prefer online and just get auto-refills on everything."

"I try to but lately I have found that the stores have nothing and there are more sales buying online vs. in person."

"I shop online I’d say 80% of the time. I reserve in-store shopping for random, spur of the moment decisions, going with friends after brunch, or if I’m buying something really expensive and want to make sure it’s the right size by trying on."


Which sites / apps / curators do you go to for music recommendations?

"My friends are actually my #1 source of music recommendations, followed very closely by TikTok. So many great indie pop songs floating around that I’ve incorporated into my playlists over the past year because I heard them in a 15 or 30 second aesthetic video."

"Yes friends! I have a few friends I follow on Apple Music and a few collaborative playlists on Spotify. And also—don’t hate me—the Time Crisis show with Ezra Koenig on Apple Music is a good source at times. I also love an old-fashioned 'YouTube recommended' dive if I’m feeling bored, Zillennial that I am."

"Haha well most recently, other people’s Spotify Wrapped screenshots!"

"My friends! Or YouTube honestly. Sometimes I’ll find a really deep cut. Also, Shazam is one of the most underrated and under-utilized apps out there."

"TikTok and Spotify serve me the best recommendations."


Would you work with a life coach?

"No, if I’m at a point where I think I need a life coach, I realistically need a therapist."

"I would love therapy but 'life coach' always seems a bit wishy-washy to me. I don’t totally get what they are really/what the difference is between that and therapy other than they’re maybe not certified?"

"We all live different lives so I don’t imagine one 'life coach' would be able to help multiple people in an impactful way."

"Probably not, but I might read some self-help books."

"Nah, I have a therapist."


Do they want to get married?

"Sure, I’d like to get married at some point. I’m not in any rush and don’t plan on having any kids (for now), but I’m not opposed to getting married when the right person comes around… just not before I’m 30."

"For the most part I’m sure most Gen Zers hope to get settle down and get married, but perhaps the terms and conditions around marriage are loosening up as we become more open-minded about intimate relationships."

"I think there’s a distinction between getting married and having kids. Like yeah, I would get married (agreed with above–not before I’m 30!). I don’t think Gen Z is opposed to monogamy or having a partner. I think the water gets a little murky when you start to think about if you want to have children and when. Especially considering things like is it ethical to have children if the world is going to end due to climate change in our lifetime (lol) and how expensive it is to do anything the generations above us have been able to relatively easily accomplish (buying a house, raising children, paying off debt)."

"I think marriage is not as much of a goal with Gen Z, as it was with previous generations. There are definitely government perks of being married (e.g. tax), buuuuuut you can just sign up for domestic partnership lol."


Gen Z has been through a lot of technological advances and societal changes in your relatively short lifetimes, in what ways do you think this has impacted your generation’s outlook on society as a whole?

"I think we’re a little more cynical about new technologies and advancements when they come around because of how online we are. While appreciating whatever efficiencies or innovations new tech might provide, we’re also in the back of our minds thinking about the data & privacy or environmental impacts that come with those. On that note more broadly, being so online has opened us up to so much more information and access to what’s going on in the world, I think Gen Z can’t help but feel slightly pessimistic about our world’s state of affairs."

"It’s pretty awesome that technology has allowed us to absorb and share large amounts of information in a short amount of time; without it, a lot of us wouldn’t be cognizant of all the social issues that occur around the world and I think the awareness to these issues helps us develop into a more empathetic generation."

"I think people feel like we’re more connected than ever, but in reality I also think we’re more divided. I think I’ve become far more cynical of government and of big tech as well."

"Good & bad. Good that we’re able to easily connect with each other. Bad that misinformation easily spreads."


How do they feel about college?

"College feels like a necessary evil. A lot of people I know feel like they didn’t necessarily 'learn' a ton in the classroom, but as a transitional phase into adulthood and place to meet new people it still has value. But those things can be done without college too, just as long as you’re independent and driven."

"Personally I think it’s a great way to expand your knowledge and your network, but I don’t think a college diploma is necessarily a stamp of intelligence."

"I think it’s really down to personal choice. Growing up, I heard all the horror stories your parents tell you about not going to college. But I have a few friends who didn’t finish or didn’t go at all, and they’re all doing well in their fields and stand by their choice. FWIW, I really like school (🤓) and enjoyed the experience but would not want to go to grad."

"I think the case for college is still extremely strong, but the system as it stands is totally untenable. For one (and probably all that needs to be said, is that student loan debt ($1.7 trillion) is now greater than credit card debt.) Who wants to be indebted for life?"

"IMO, college isn’t necessary. I wasn’t a big fan of the traditional classroom, but I am excited for the future of unconventional learning environments/structures that cater to different styles. Also education should be free for all!!!"

Do you still go to libraries?

"I love going to libraries!!! I used to study and hangout there all the time with my friends, and I love exploring new ones."

"I do! Love afree place to hang out with friends."

"Not really :( Loved it in high school and college, and probably would save money on books if I continued, but I kinda like owning my books so I can mark/lose them without fear."

"No."

"Virtually! I rent books from the library on my Kindle so save some cash here and there, but haven’t been to a physical library in probably two years."

"I don’t, but have been to local bookstores a few times in the past year to purchase books!"

"I haven’t been since college, but the NYPL is a really great spot to go."

"I wish I could! There isn’t one in walking distance near me but if there was, I’d definitely be there regularly."

"I did when I was a young kid and in college, but haven’t since."

"No, because I like to have and then keep the physical copy of my book!"

"No - I prefer to shop local bookstores, keep the books, and not be too gentle with them (also working towards my goal of a stacked bookcase)."

What do you love about living right now that you feel will betray you in 30 years?

"Spending money."

"Not having arthritis."

"4 out of 5 dentists say my resistance to a regular flossing routine."

"Spending money on clothes and materialistic items."

"I should really be stretching more..."

"Spending money frivolously on myself."

"I live every day without looking too far down the line which I feel like I need to start doing now that I have more adult responsibilities."

"Sleeping past 8am."

"Not drinking enough water and not sleeping early."

What does your dream job look like?

"Working for myself; being able to build my own schedule; following my passion."

"Doing what I love and building something special with my friends."

"I’d like to be outside again! At least for some part of the day. And preferably working in a smaller, tighter group of people."

"Something that allows me to have work life balance! Bonus if it’s interesting and fun."

"Working on something that fosters creative freedom and that I feel passionate about. Being my own boss would be super cool. But I’m still trying to figure this out myself :)"

"Working for myself with a group of creative people, building things with my hands, giving opportunities to young folks who might not have access."

"I don’t dream of labor... but I would prefer to work for myself."

How does Gen Z feel about religion? Have most abandoned religion altogether?

"I’m not really religious at all, which I think is just due to my parents never taking us to church or synagogue. I feel like Gen Z looks to astrology for meaning more than they look for traditional religion."

"I grew up religious but dropped it in high school. I think a majority have abandoned organized religion due to a myriad of reasons and find other ways to make sense of the world around them."

"I was raised religious, but dropped it in high school. I think the timing has to do with forming your own morals and values as you come of age. Certainly I take a novel interest in astrology (as a lot of Gen Zers do), and I think it’s made me interested in the concept of ~spirituality~ but definitely not organized religion. I think Gen Zers see 'The Church' as antithetical to their values, but also I’m thinking in the lens of Christianity/Catholicism. Would be interesting to hear from people of other religious upbringings."

"My grandparents are very religious (Baptist/Christian) and made me and my siblings go to bible school during the summer and sometimes during the school week. I never really felt a strong connection to religion though, really just liked spending time with kids my age and receiving free snacks (lol). I almost feel like as I get older, I’m becoming more religious just because it feels easier to cope with challenges when you have someone to pray to."

"I definitely did not abandon it as I still celebrate the major holidays and gather with family. I think after I was Bat Mizvahed at age 13 I lost touch with it as I wasn’t going to Hebrew school anymore or studying the Torah. I think in college was when I really lost touch with it since I was not going to temple on the holidays with my parents. Since then my family has stopped going to temple but we still believe in it and celebrate it but it's more of a way to gather as a family."

"Religion is a scary word because of its connotations historically and even presently but overall, I identify as spiritual which feels less oppressive than organized religion even though I do participate in religious activities that stem from my spiritual beliefs. But overall I think there are more secretly 'religious' Gen Zers than we think, we’re just trying not to associate ourselves with the problematic histories of some of them."

"I don’t hold it in the same regard as my parents do and a lot of news outlets have revealed some scary and unsettling information related to the religion, so I don’t really see it as a necessary part of my life. I do appreciate it for the teachings and morals it has instilled in me, but these can be taught outside of religion as well."

"I was raised in a Buddhist household, but I’m not very religious. Just be kind, that’s all."

How often do you vape?

"Lol, I don’t, but I (sadly) know so many people who picked up a vape having never done any type of nicotine before, and are now fully hooked. I think it’s actually a real issue among Gen Zers."

"More socially when there’s one around at a party or bar, but I don’t personally ever spend my own money on them. My sister (also Gen Z) just finally quit after five years, she started in high school. It gets people young."

"I don’t. I don’t get the point, but my twin brother is addicted (though he claims he isn’t)."

"I did in college as more of a stress reliever when doing homework or studying but once I graduated I quickly realized it was time to stop before it was too late."

"I’ve never."

"No. It’s too spicy for me."

"If a friend had one, but I’d never buy one."

What is the Gen Z color?

"Hmm this is a tough one. I feel like I see a lot of canary yellow and pale greens on Gen Z-catered products? But I don’t think there’s a color that’s as dominant yet as “Millennial Pink” was/is."

"I feel like there’s definitely a range. I’ve been seeing a lot of nudes and browns being worn, but also vibrant colors as well like fuchsia. I don’t think there’s a settled color that is seen as Gen Z’s color."

"Different shades of green. Personally, it’s my favorite color. But I do see it everywhere on aesthetic Instagram and TikTok."

"Black."

"Definitely a lot of brown and cream. Especially wearing monochrome color looks."

How can Gen X help?

"Continue to be open minded to change."

"Drop any preconceived notions or stereotypes at the door."

"I love Gen X! There’s an interesting article in Wired actually about the similarities in sensibility and humor between Xers and Zers. Keep bein’ you <3"

"Invest in programs that transfer generational wealth to those who have to start from scratch."

"Understand that differences or different upbringings aren’t bad or weird. It’s just different. I grew up with Nintendo and loved it, so of course I bought the Nintendo Switch now as a 22 year old. I definitely still get the weird side-eye from my parents and older relatives about buying it, but they’d do the same with whatever childhood thing they grew up with."

"Educate themselves on racial/social disparities, invest in our generation, implement extreme sustainable practices, and develop empathy."

What motivates you in the workplace?

"Having both a strong peer group and mentor-level people to work alongside. Which sounds like a low bar, but it’s rarer than you might think!"

"I want to feel proud of the work I do. So often when people engage in small talk about work, they talk about how much they don’t like their field or their company or their job; I’m actively trying to avoid those things by finding joy in what I do like about work, because the alternative leads to negativity that I just don’t need in my life."

"Knowing that my team supports me and is willing to help me work towards my goals or in my tasks. I think knowing my teammates outside of their job as well encourages me. I can’t really explain it, but I just enjoy work more when I know them in that way."

Did you have a childhood outside?

"Yes, I have seen the outside (and I have also seen the rain)"

"Yes, long live the cul-de-sac, hotspot for skateboarding, wiffle ball, and capture the flag."

"Yes, cul-de-sac vibes all the way, haha. But every time I come back home for the holidays, I never see the neighborhood kids outside like when I was younger!"

"^^SAME. Cul-de-sac outdoors is the best kind of outdoors. I used to play with the neighborhood kids all the time on my cul-de-sac and it was so fun to throw balls from my balcony and bike around our cul-de-sac."

"Absolutely! Everybody on my block rode bikes together, played hide and seek outside, tag, races down the street, and walked to parks together. Definitely got a lot of childhood injuries from playing out there."

"Yes a huge part of my childhood was spent outside specially on my swingset in my backyard. It was a nightly routine in the summer to meet up with my neighbors to ride bikes and switch off on each other's trampolines."

"Born and raised in Hawai’i, I definitely had a childhood outside. But I had my days inside watching TV and playing my Gamecube."

Do you prefer ebooks, audiobooks, or physical?

"Physical books all the way! Try as I might, I can’t get into ebooks or audiobooks. Even podcasts over 30min are sometimes pushing it..."

"Physical books for sure, but I do like my Kindle when I’m traveling just because I can “pack” so many books without taking up any real space in my backpack. Plus sometimes I want to read trash romance books and people don’t need to see those book covers."

"Definitely physical books. I’ve never been able to get with the ebooks."

"Audio and physical books! I like the feeling of reading a physical book, but sometimes I don’t have time to whip it out or just can’t because I’m driving or don’t feel like straining my eyes (I have below negative 5 vision and work on the laptop all day)."

"Physical books 100%, but I think audiobooks can be really nice on a plane or car ride if I’m in a certain mood. I struggle to read longform content on an ebook though."

"Physical books for sure. I’m a snob tho, I judge a book by its cover."

How do you find new art?

"Instagram usually, I follow a lot of moodboard accounts like: @welcome.jpeg, @sporarts, @samutaro, @yungwatergun and more that have put me onto art/photography that I wouldn’t have otherwise found. I also have a lot of friends who are artists.

"It used to be Tumblr, haha. I think it starts with following Instagram moodboards or galleries’ accounts, and then link-diving into the individual artists’ accounts."

"^definitely tumblr back in the day. Now I find it through my Instagram or Twitter timelines. Sometimes even Pinterest if I’m feeling spicy."

"^I also used to be tumblr-ing. And I still kinda do on Are.na. A few of my friends and I have accounts on there and share things back and forth. Also a cool way to find artists/references. Also follow some arts publications like It’s Nice That, Spike and Hyperallergic."

"I can’t say I’m actively seeking out art on an active basis, but Twitter is definitely the place where I see it the most often. People share their photography, graphic design, paintings, etc. and it’s a great place to find people who are looking to get their start."

"I go on Instagram or TikTok. The algorithm feeds me art that I like or might be into and I love it."

"Instagram mood board accounts @gelbsy, @googleartsculture, @__dreamspaces, @stillherestilllife"

what is chewgy?

"I'm not convinced it’s not a real thing, it’s an industry plant."

"^Lol"

"The way I’ve come to understand it, is something has to have been “basic” at one point to be “cheugy.” So, it’s basic, but outdated. An Aritzia SuperPuff is basic and a Canada Goose is cheugy. Do all basic things eventually turn cheugy? I’m not sure…"

"This word is used exclusively in an ironic or sarcastic context now. There are so many other real words to describe what “cheugy” is attempting to get at, so you can just use those."

"It’s another word for basic or something that’s old and should not be brought back."

"Obsession with The Office? Cheugy. Starbucks? Cheugy. Skinny Jeans? Cheugy."

What is an "aesthetic" and why are they so popular?

"I have seen a lot of this on TikTok when something is aesthetically pleasing like restocking a fridge with these clean organized bins or cleaning up a room. If something looks or is presented in a nice way to the eye is how I interpret that. They are popular because I think people find pleasure in looking at nice things or organized spaces in hopes it give them motivation to make their space aesthetic (at least that's the case for me)"

"(I hate myself for saying this but) An “aesthetic” means different things to different people I think. ^^definitely have seen this kind of interpretation above. But it can also be about “aesthetic” fashion or lifestyle where you take a specific style like goth, academia, or Y2K and incorporate it across the clothes you wear, entertainment you watch, decor in your home etc.—at least insofar as you’re sharing online. Can’t necessarily say why they’re popular but the cynic in me thinks a lot of it has to do with it being an easy way to find a community + blow up on TikTok and to a lesser extent IG."

"I think an “aesthetic” is a certain style and that can come in many different forms. I particularly use the word for describing my taste in fashion and decor. I think it’s definitely hard to come up with your own style by yourself, so having all these aesthetics help with figuring out what you like."

Do they know who the Beatles are?

"C’mon now, give us some credit. Yes, and before the Disney+ doc…"

"You mean the guys who are famous for walking across the street? Jk, of course! Our parents passed on a lot of music knowledge to us, you’d be surprised how many 60s-80s music we know and listen to regularly."

"Yes...can they name more than maybe 1 song, probs not. (speaking for me and all of my friends)"

"Yes of course.. First choice when going to choose a song to listen to on a normal day, probably not."

"As a child of immigrants, I’ve had to introduce myself to various parts of American culture. Of course I know who The Beatles are. Do I like them...eh. Lol. I probably learned about them from kids from school whose parents’ showed them The Beatles."

What do Gen Z’ers think about where they will live in the future? Specifically would they be happier renting forever or would they prefer to buy a home?

"It’s interesting because I think Gen Z might be one of the first generations to think about climate change specifically when looking for places to live in the future. In terms of renting or buying, I haven’t thought too much about it, but I’d like to own a home one day for sure."

"I’d definitely like to own one day. My parents were able to do it growing up without a massive income, but in much smaller markets than the type of place I want to live. We’ll see, I invest and save quite a bit so would love to diversify with my own property."

"It feels impossible to even think about right now, but as I get older and think long term about money/investments/etc it does kind of suck to think of my money “flying out the window” as my dad would say. I think a lot of people my age (whether it’s due to career ambitions or wanting to experience lots of places) find it hard to decide on staying in one place."

"I’d definitely want my own home one day, but I feel like I’ll be renting for a while considering how expensive living costs are. I’ve been watching a lot of TikToks talking about renting and real estate and stuff to help me know more about this stuff.'

"I was raised to believe that everyone should own a home or land. That’s still my goal today but for the rest of Gen Z owning a home is not a priority. I get it - we'd rather travel, invest in experiences, and not be tied down to a specific location."

Do you feel that representations of Gen Z in popular culture are accurate?

"It depends but in my opinion no. I feel like Gen Z in popular culture are referred to as robots and very consumed by social media and trends"

"Eh, no. But pop culture depictions of younger generations are usually pretty off the mark. I think it’s more interesting to think about what representations of Gen Z reveal about how older generations perceive them—or at least, what older generations think they find entertaining or representative. Thinking of Euphoria and the Gossip Girl reboot."

"I don’t think so, but it’s difficult because Gen Z isn’t a monolith. This is a problem I see outside of pop culture too, in headlines that reference Gen Z. For instance, I’d never heard of “Cheugy” before, and suddenly it’s the first word in Gen Z’s lexicon? I think people rush to categorize Gen Z with broad strokes, but the picture is often more complex than a headline can capture."

"Not really. I feel there’s two ways media interprets Gen Z: either they’re social media obsessed, sending each other emojis and snap videos with face filters from early 2015, or they’re overly dramatic to the point teenagers aren’t being represented as actual youths, but as adults. The truth is, both interpretations are shallow, overdramatic, or cartoonish. I will admit there are your rare exceptions; there are movies such as Eighth Grade or Booksmart that I feel actually capture the essence of GenZ. That being said, within the large scope of things, I feel the reason why media fails to accurately represent GenZ is because 1) it is led from people who don’t belong (and therefore don’t relate) to that generation and 2) they don’t see us as a variety of unique individuals but as a static stereotype/ demographic. Ultimately, as a Gen Z seeing these representations, how it feels can best be compared to the Steve Buscemi meme where he says “How do you do, fellow kids."

What do they want to do for work?

"I think it certainly depends on who you ask, and where they fall on the Gen Z spectrum (older or younger). For instance, a recent survey of some Gen Zers on the younger end of the spectrum found that more wanted to be a YouTuber than an astronaut. Some, don’t even want to work at all and others are increasingly starting their own business. Personally, I don’t necessarily “want” to work, as much as I’d like to build a legacy, something I can be proud of."

"Speaking for myself, I’m still pretty uncertain. But for me and a lot of my peers, I think it’ll be less about what you “want” to do for work and more about what job gives you the off-the-job experience that you want: work/life balance, travel, disposable income for side projects, etc. Not to say the job itself is unimportant, but I think it’ll be weighed heavily against how it fits into or enables the life you want to live outside the office—maybe more so than the past."

"Like my colleague, I’m not obsessed with what job I get, but rather what experiences I accomplish. Plus, with today’s hustle culture and workaholism, I think a part of Gen Z prefers to distance themselves from obsessing over titles and professions. On another note, I’ve also noticed there’s been a huge spike in people, especially Gen Z, delving towards entrepreneurship and self-employment— and many of these jobs are often related to creative professions like crafting or being content creators. You can see a great example of this on TikTok, where there exists a trend where creatives promote their small businesses; more often than not, these are independent creatives looking to sell their art."

What are the major Gen Z customer segments for fashion? I know many shops across micro-communities/niches but are there identifiable major segments?

"Well, I’m not sure. I can’t speak for others, but my theory is that many Gen Z don’t buy fashion according to, say, function or luxury, but rather look and aesthetic. If I had to separate them into groups, I’d say at least urban/ hype fashion, soft/ femme fashion, alternative (like alttok, e-girl/boy, etc.) fashion, 'VSCO' (aka popular/ trendy) fashion, and sports (comfort wear/ lounge/ athletic) fashion."

"I also can’t necessarily speak to the data on specific segments but speaking more anecdotally, I think my friends and I tend to purchase a 70/30 breakdown of vintage and new clothing and definitely tend towards retailers like Uniqlo for basics. Any more premium or luxury purchases tend to be accessories, footwear, outerwear, etc."

"Trends come in a circular fashion -- right now it’s the Y2K/McBling era. In terms of how they shop, it depends - there are those who shop fast fashion (i.e. Shein) and follow trends that they see on TikTok. Then there are those who don’t (lol). This group is more aware of the environmental effects of the fashion industry and make it a point to shop eco-friendly (i.e. thrifting/shopping ”sustainable) and support BIPOC small-business owners."

Are skateboarders still outsiders?

"Not at all. I think if you look at the popularity of brands like Noah, Palace, Supreme, even Aimé Leon Dore the aesthetics of skaters are very much in. Not sure how much or if it translates to actual skateboarding all the time though…"

"They are very much on the inside now. However, they are more like a subculture than a fringe culture."

"No, not in the least."

Do you like weed?

"Not anymore, but I think there definitely is a larger trend around turning to psychedelics and mind-altering products, especially following the pandemic, as a means of escape and introspection. For instance, Gen Zers are increasingly experimenting with microdosing shrooms and LSD, and there has been more research rolling out about their mental health benefits as well."

"I don’t really. But while I’m glad to see the destigmatization of weed, CBD and psychedelics, I think we should start to have conversations around what has essentially become the gentrification of these substances."

How do they consume content?

"It depends on the type of content for me and where I am. If I’m out, I really don’t like watching TV or anything on my phone. So it’s Twitter for news and entertainment, a book just in case and Instagram/TikTok when I’m bored or I’ve exhausted all other options. If I’m home, Hulu/HBO Max for movies and TV, computer for news/article reading and still books. (But a different one from the train book!)"

"When I am home it is usually always Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu and I try to limit (but I always fail) using TikTok, Instagram when I am not watching a show. On the go, I don't usually watch anything besides some Instagram content but lately to make the time pass on the treadmill at the gym I have been using the HBO Max app to stream a show."

"When I’m out and about I tend to spend the most time on Twitter and Instagram (Stories specifically), but I prefer to stick to audio and listen to podcasts or a playlist I’ve made. I typically have a book with me as well, but those rarely make it out of my tote bag. At home, I spend a lot of time on YouTube and TikTok since watching videos requires more attention. As far as streaming goes, I’m a big fan of HBO Max and tend to start there, and then move on to Netflix or Hulu."

"At home, I’m tuning into HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, YouTube (pretty much every streaming service) or listening to Spotify (not Apple Music lol). If I’m on my phone, I’m scrolling through TikTok, Twitter (mainly for news), Instagram (I use it to keep up with close friends)."

How do they workout?

"During COVID I took advantage of virtual classes a lot! I would try all different ones that held classes on Zoom that ranged from $8-$15 dollars. Most of the proceeds went to COVID relief which was really nice. Now living in a big city I use Class Pass which is an app that allows you to buy a certain amount of credits each month that you can use towards workout classes all over your respective city."


"During the beginning of the pandemic when gyms were closed I started running more often, but eventually injured my knee which put me out for a while. I felt recovered enough in the past year to start a membership at a local LA Fitness, but then injured my ankle quite severely and had to cancel my membership there. Since then I’ve moved to NYC and haven’t had an active workout plan. I do hope to get back into some sort of routine, and that will probably consist of in person classes or solo workouts, although there aren’t many gyms close to my apartment. For now I’m just trying to walk as much as I can."

"Since the pandemic, I began doing all my exercise online. Youtube is where I get all my exercise workouts. I was at first skeptical about following fitness influencers; however, after testing a few workouts and actually seeing results, I’ve changed a few of my thoughts. If I’m not exercising, then I just walk a bunch."

"I run outside in all seasons and spend a lot of time walking around with friends on the weekends. Big fan of walks as hangs! But I’ve played soccer or tennis as well if friends of mine asked me to. I really would love to develop a regular routine, or maybe do yoga or something else that’s more mindfulness focused, but I just can’t stick with it..."

Does Gen Z actually care about the metaverse?

"Of course, it’s the future. And any brand that doesn’t have a CMO (chief metaverse officer) within the next 5-10 years, will fall behind. But I will say that I don’t want the virtual world to completely supplant IRL. Like Sean Monahan said: “URL [should] serve IRL—not replace it.” I like going to concerts, bars, sports games, even the office. I don’t really have interest in doing that through a screen. I think the answer to this question probably depends when you were born on the Gen Z spectrum. If you’re a “Zillennial,” I think you don’t care that much (as in, are not on Minecraft all day), but if you’re on the younger end, I think you’ll spend far more time in the Metaverse."

"I think most of us (outside of marketing) don’t really know what the 'metaverse' is even though we use a version of it on Fortnite, Roblox and even Minecraft. I think over the next few years, as it expands and brands start to stake their claim in the space, it’ll start to take shape more and I believe more POVs will begin to form. As of now, the term is mostly associated with gamer culture, which has gone from being a fringe activity to mainstream."

"I do and I don’t. As someone relatively new to gaming and internet 'discourse,' I think it’s an interesting time to be a part of virtual communities and networks. But I’m not an early adopter on most things, and the metaverse is no different. I feel like I’m going to take this early stage a bit passively—read some articles, maybe buy some Bitcoin—and see where I get."

What's the better, simple way for home buying?

"To be honest, it’s not really something I’ve thought about as of now. I think I’m really far off from owning a home—and I think, if anything, concerned as to whether I’ll actually be able to afford one."

"^^ I’d also add that other factors—like younger generations getting married less, moving locations and jobs more—makes home ownership feel a little less aspirational. As far as a better, simpler way, I think it’s a tough question. As an older Gen Zer, I think the ’08 housing crash plays a factor, and I’m a bit wary of promises like “a better simpler way to make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.”

"The simplest way to home buy is to have generational wealth or have a high paying job."

What values does Gen Z look for in an employer?

"A company culture that expands further than just getting the work done—what values does the company hold outside of a balance sheet (how are they building and promoting DE&I efforts, mitigating their carbon footprint or standing up for important social issues in an actually authentic way)? Also, a place where everyone feels like they have a seat at the table, regardless of seniority or their title."

"A company that emphasizes the importance of growth within the company, and outside of it"

"^Agree. It’s very easy to virtue signal these days, especially for large companies. At the same time, it’s usually pretty easy to figure out whether or not they’re truly investing their time and money in the efforts they talk about. Seeing positive growth in minority representation within the company, working with non-profit organizations, not only setting but actively meeting goals. These are things that will make me interested in an employer and would likely help keep me around for longer as well."

"I think a huge thing we look for is if the outward facing values of a company match up internally. For example, a company that touts sustainability practices cannot also have a workplace that devalues its employee with no benefits. Those discrepancies matter to us because at the end of the day, we have to be the ones working on the inside and not just working for the greater goals of the company"

What's your favorite brand?

"Not really a brand at all (which might be the point), but I like everything that MSCHF does. The extent to which they’re so tapped into culture and hit so well on human tensions means that each of their drops are genius."

"Despite all the recent hate, my favorite brand has got to be Robinhood for simplifying stock trading for young retail investors like myself."

"I don’t have a favorite brand. I think I have different moments where I pay attention to brands at specific times when they either come out with a cool collaboration or when they stand up for a social cause, but for the most part, I am more interested in people."

"^^Agreed! As of now, I’m into brands that feel genuine and create memorable moments."

"In terms of brands I’m following: tiny studios/design stores like Beverly’s and Crosby Studios. In terms of brands that never let me down: the drugstore beauty/skincare brands like Cera Ve, e.l.f."

What is the most premium brand you’re interested in? Why?

"I’m a sucker for Apple, if we’re counting them as a premium brand. I just really like clean, sleek design and technology. I've also been really intrigued by Frank Ocean's new jewelry brand, Homer. Is it out of my price range? Yes, of course, but I've been constantly flipping through the zine for visual inspo, and I love the playful aspect of each of the pieces he rolled out."

"Nicer cookware brands like Alessi and Le Creuset. From a design standpoint, I like the weight of them—they're sturdy, built to last for the kitchen. I also like the idea of investing in my home for the long run, and not necessarily taking the path of least resistance."

"Lately it’s been Gucci and Coach. I’m into their vintage style bags."

"I’ve really been into Jacquemus. Their IG feed is perfect, and I’ll take all of their super impractical bags in every colorway, please!"

"Vintage couture from Moschino, Versace or Vivienne Westwood. Also weirdly mattresses?"

"Miu Miu! I think it has to do with being nostalgic about the 2010s (which I’m more excited about than the Y2k trend, personally) and the “it girls” I love to follow who made it popular (and still wear it) like Alexa Chung and Chloë Sevigny."

"Prada. Their clothes aren’t too loud in print or too ‘trendy’. Most of their pieces are timeless and versatile!"

What brands do the best job promoting themselves on social?

"I think it depends on what channel we’re talking about, but I love everything that Recess and Ruby Hibiscus do. The Recess IG page is simple but also extremely tapped in. I also love Poolsuite, probably specifically because it’s not at all branded content."

"It sounds typical, but any brand that does a good job of making their TikTok ad funny and not so branded or ad-like. Like Duolingo for example, they have been killing it on TikTok."

"I think Glossier does a good job with this. They're tapped in with their community and really leverage UGC content. All of their packaging is also really cute which helps with the IG aesthetic."

"I think Aēsop does a really great job with the imagery and language they use to bring you into their world. They’re not sell-y (they already have their loyal clientele) and are really good at conveying their product as part of a particular lifestyle."

"I hate to say it but, SKIMS. I think they do a good job portraying their brand’s image."

What's the next, cooler iteration of the newsletter?

"I think having a guest cultural curator would be cool to have and see what moments they choose to highlight"

"Zines and newspapers are having a moment. Thinking of The Drunken Canal here. Also, am I the only person who thinks subscription boxes and mailers—especially in the beauty space—might bring around a snail mail revival?"

"I subscribe the Nudge (they text you about fun things to do in your city) and I think some kind of direct-to-text newsletter could be fun - like a gossip blog that just texts you breaking news real-time."

"I think secret location/exclusive events might make a comeback. It’s kind of big now, but there is a group called Junior Varsity that puts on parties, and you can only get in if you RSVP via text. Also seeing more events/parties where you need to ask to be on the list, rather than buying tickets"

Does Gen Z care about award shows?

"Personally, I could not care less. Not that ratings are everything, but if you look at the trends over the last decade, viewership for awards have continued to plummet. I also think categories (i.e. best foreign film)...are going to be phased out completely (as they should be), making awards shows more irrelevant."

"Eh not really, I like them for the performances though. I do think the shows have biased judges and after seeing the same winners over and over it got pretty tiring to enjoy."

"No, I don’t really care who wins and think it’s all a bit dated. I prefer to just see the memeable moments and highlights on Twitter."

"Kind of - I’m a loyal Oscar’s watcher, but would rather watch Twitter discourse and clips of the best parts then sit through ads"

"I’ve never really sat down and watched a whole award show, just highlights and what people wore on the red carpet."

What should the next social platform look like?

"I think one of the main takeaways: stop trying to do too much. I don’t want my social app to also be a mall, and I’m not into targeted ads. I just want to post some cool photos and talk with my friends!"

"^^And stop trying to be other platforms! We need something fresh, not an IG remake"

"I want it to show stuff that I like and allow me to share photos, memes, cool stuff to my friends. Also like the other comment said above to remakes^^^"

What platforms do you use to stay in touch with friends?

"Groupme, Snapchat, Instagram"

"iMessage mostly, Snapchat for random updates throughout the day and Instagram for sending memes/celeb news"

"Snapchat and Twitter! But my Zillenial status might be showing here."

"Instagram, Twitter, iMessage, not as much Snapchat since I don’t like receiving a huge collection of photos at once (it’s overwhelming)"

Are you on Discord?

"I’m not, but I should be."

"Unsure of where to even start, so no!"

"No."

"No, but I want to be."

Which beauty/skincare brands are successfully messaging inclusivity to Gen Z?

"Fenty feels like an obvious answer, their first drop stands out as the beginning of the mass inclusivity when it comes to shades of makeup. Their social presence also feels more Gen Z than a lot of other brands."

"Sephora!"

"Topicals, Alleyoop-- just their branding and aesthetic *chef’s kiss"

Where do you look for fashion inspiration?

"My older brother (27) was & always a big inspiration to me, fashion-wise. He was around the early streetwear scene, before OOTD drops on TikTok."

"Also my older brother. Also IG fashion girls. Also Pinterest."

What’s with the Y2K obsession?

"I’m pretty sure it’s Depop’s fault but I can’t really say I know the exact source."

"We are trying to redefine what “hot” looks like! So take our peak style growing up but make it inclusive"

"Reusing and recycling what we already have."

Where do you look to find recipes?

"My mother! Or my roommate’s NYT Cooking subscription."

"I’m horrible at buying separate ingredients for things, usually I make some kind of protein and pair it with rice or incredibly low-effort veggies. So clearly in need of some recommendations :)"

"My mom! I’m very into perfecting traditional recipes to pass on my culture."

"Mom :) and TikTok! #dontyuckmyyum 🖐🏼"

How often do you order delivery vs. dining out?

"I don’t order food that often (or at least I try not to). Most of the time I’ll call the restaurant for pick up. I think there’s still a lot of work to do in terms of workers rights for delivery drivers, and a lot of delivery platforms siphon off a lot of money from restaurants."

"Too often."

"I dine out more. Delivery fees are too much 🥵"

What are your thoughts on veganism? Are any of your friends vegan?

"I have no problems with veganism whatsoever, it’s just not for me! I have a decent amount of vegan friends."

"Not for me personally, but if you like it I love it! You do you."

"I don’t have a problem with it. I could never do it. None of my friends are vegan."

How are you investing in yourself?

"I ask myself this every day. I’m really trying to spend less time in front of a screen and more time reading and writing."

"I’m forcing myself to become a morning person, that way I can spend time before work either exercising, reading, journaling, etc. I want to put a more concerted effort into doing things beneficial for me to start my day on the right foot."

"I signed up for personal training and it got me to enjoy fitness more with a healthier mindset."

What’s one thing that Millennials can do to set Gen Z up for success?

"Be open."

"^^^periodt. Trying to understand why we feel or think a certain way and getting to know us where it feels relational and not transactional."

What is the Gen Z attitude towards the different generations, e.g. Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, Gen Z? Is it more like, “I’m Gen Z and Millennials are aliens,” or more like, “Eh we’re all humans, what’s the point of dividing us into different groups.”

"I know there are deeper similarities between Gen Z and other generations, like shared experiences and stuff. But I definitely see a difference in mindset between the generations. Not trying to say Millennials are foreign to Gen Z and are so different, because I think we’re more similar than we may think."

What’re your thoughts on wearable technology?

"I’m not into it. I’m also someone who is very wary about data collection. But I do like my airpods if we’re counting those."

"Don’t care."

"Seems unnecessary? I can’t even be bothered to wear my Apple Watch most days."

"If it’s practical and makes what I do everyday easier (and doesn’t look ugly) then yeahhh I’m about it."

Do you use Robinhood or any other trading platform?

"I do! I use Robinhood, but I should probably use coinbase too.."

"I used to use Robinhood but moved all of my investing to Charles Schwab, since they have a partnership with my bank and it’s easy to consolidate/manage."

"I used to! Prior to the GameStop debacle."

"I tried, but now it’s just sitting there on my homescreen."

Does Gen Z understand NFTs?

"I don't think anyone understands NFTs. But, yes."

"Absolutely not"

"No, and I'm scared to."

Is there a song or musical artist that you feel defines the generation? Who/what is it and why?

"I feel like this depends on where you fall on the Gen Z spectrum. I think for “older” Z’s, it’s probably Kanye West (not saying he’s my favorite artist, just feel like he is probably the artist who had the most impact on the culture)."

What are the types of books interesting to Gen Z? Any authors that they love?

"I read a lot of non-fiction books on politics, tech and philosophy (which I guess would just be philosophy, not non-fiction)."

"BookTok loves literary fiction and romance novels. Authors like Sally Rooney, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Colleen Hoover, Ottessa Moshfegh, Emily Henry, Madeline Miller, and Casey McQuiston show up in nearly every video. There’s also a certain love for unlikeable female protagonists in fiction (think “Gone Girl” - you know they’re evil but love to root for them anyway)."

"I like mindfulness books. Always trying to recenter my inner zen✨"

How many podcasts do Gen Zers listen to a week?

"I listen to a couple. I have my go-to sports podcast that I’ll listen to on Mondays (recaps the weekend games) and then sometimes I’ll take a deeper dive into more true-crime genre and/or cultural commentary podcasts. Right now I’m listening to Bad Blood (about Elizabeth Holmes)."

"At any given time I’m probably listening to 6-7 per week. Three different pop culture shows, 2-3 reality TV show recaps, and then throw in a quick daily news podcast depending on how interested I am in current events. I also sometimes subscribe to certain podcasts’ Patreon pages and consume additional exclusive content there."

"Either 4-5 or none, no in between."

"Ehh 1-2. They’re usually crime or mindfulness podcasts."

What movies are classics to Gen Z?

"I feel like this varies with each person, but for me: The Big Lebowski. All time movie."

"Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Jennifer’s Body standout to me as cult classics for Gen Z, but in such a digital world I’m not even sure cult is the right word anymore. There’s such easy access to people with the same opinions and interests as you that anything could feel popular."

"Mean Girls, We’re The Millers, Pitch Perfect, Easy A, anything Marvel"

"Studio Ghibli movies like Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Ponyo"