Today’s young people haven’t been ruined by social media. They’ve been equipped to unleash the power of a new technological era.
The class of 2022 finds itself graduating into a surprisingly strong work environment, especially compared with its immediate predecessors. For the moment, employers are hiring again, and the labor market is relatively favorable even for job seekers without much experience. Yet, with the war in Ukraine, rising inflation and the threat of a recession on the horizon, the future is anything but certain.
In the Age of the Inconceivable, when huge and unanticipated events like the pandemic have become the norm, any outlook may change quickly. But what makes me bullish about the long-term prospects of the class of 2022—and about the impact these young people will likely have on the workforce—is how much of their lives they have spent enmeshed in digital networks like TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube.
Gen Z’s lifelong immersion in social media is often presented as a parade of horribles. The narrative has implied that social media is pressuring them to live up to impossible lifestyle ideals. And if they do manage to live up to those ideals, it is turning them into entitled narcissists, hopelessly distracted by superficial and trivial concerns. And while I don’t want to play down real concerns about the challenges emerging from social media that are facing this generation, I do have sincere faith that they are not too emotionally fragile to handle themselves with strength as they move (Read more...)