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Lessons from Gen Z

Here’s your esoteric piece for the weekend.  I nixed talking about Facebook’s change in their algorithms – they’re now not amplifying users who provide misinformation – and instead wanted to focus on a piece that explores Generation Z’s use of social tools for studying.  Yes, for the way they collaborate for school work.

Quoting Every.toThe Study Web is a constellation of digital spaces and online communities—across YouTube, TikTok, Reddit, Discord, and Twitter—largely built by students for students. Videos under the #StudyTok hashtag have been viewed over half a billion times.  

Why are millions of students from around the world spending countless hours online, tangled in the Study Web of their own design?

In the highly-pressurized pursuit of the academic goals they’ve been told will help them succeed, students venture into Study Web to feel less alone; assuaging anxiety with inspiration, pursuing perfect grades through para-social productivity, and quelling fears about the future with cyber friends. As Zoom school has left young people even more desperate for connection and support, they’re turning to Study Web—post-to-post, DM-to-DM, and webcam-to-webcam—to find it. 

Why do we care?

The why we care is about the creation of online culture and the use of these tools for collaboration.     If you believe (like I do) that you can borrow ideas from other industries, the idea of helping manage culture and mental health using these collaboration tools is of real note.    

Creative thinkers will be borrowing concepts.     The way these students use the cameras for establishing shared presence and the way they collaborate for accountability give food for thought for smart business leaders.

There’s the obvious generation gap to point out here too.   These students took the tools and thought of creative new ways to leverage them.  Are you taking advantage of that creativity in your own business and thinking?