Rezo factor positive or we are the better adults

The discussion about the video of the Youtuber Rezo, on the destruction of the CDU, made it clear how different younger and older generations are and above all also communicate. Rezo, as a representative of the younger generation, has “once briefly” researched a few topics on the net and moves his million followers with a video. The CDU and the entire older generation don’t really get this, don’t even know who the young influencer with the blue hair is and, after lengthy internal negotiations, respond with a fax to the opinion. This seems as if two completely different worlds meet here and have difficulty in finding a common medium of communication at all.

Some media even see Rezo as a harbinger of a new revolution or apo movement, such as the mirror title with the beautiful pun: The Rezoluzzer. But is that really the case? How is Gen Z understood?

In in-depth interviews with Gen Z, there is little evidence of generational conflict or even revolution. On the contrary, the young respondents experience themselves in a supplementary relationship with the parent generation. They feel more like a kind of team or symbiosis, in which the younger generation sees their task as drawing the older generation’s attention to certain grievances. The parents’ generations should take up the misery and regulate things according to the idea of the younger ones.

Like the Apo movement, Gen Z does not aspire to take power, but wants to awaken the parent generation.

“Rezo wanted to draw their attention to the things that are going wrong, so that they can finally take care of them. He was then completely surprised by the effect his video had, and then went into hiding.”

The young generation sees the parent generation not as opponents, but as vicarious agents of their own desires and demands. Because they have grown up with a much greater say compared to previous generations. Whether for daily shopping, holiday planning, car purchase, house building or even when choosing a partner from mother or father – they are asked about their wishes everywhere.

Parents interview them from childhood on all areas of life and are seen by them as enablers of full care. They are proud of the self-determination of their children, also to avoid conflicts and not to be responsible for everything alone.

But it is not only the tolerant attitude of parents that can foster youthful fantasies of omnipotence. Even the smartphone, as a kind of magic scepter of power, and the omniscient web feed the feeling of Gen Z that everything becomes available and feasible at all times. While Google and Wikipedia know everything, parents, teachers or politicians seem quite ignorant and lose authority.

“The teachers google everything themselves, we can do it ourselves.”

In general, the younger ones experience themselves as much more savvy than the older ones, to whom they have to explain and teach many things with regard to new technologies. From the point of view of Gen Z, the older generations are losing sight of the important things, and in the first place with regard to the future, the young generation always seem to be asking in which direction it should go. This seems almost insecure and a bit desperate if Gen Z is to judge everything. In this sense, the very hesitant reaction of politicians to the Rezo video was also unsettled. The question arises among the younger ones whether the older ones are actually still reliable and able to act.

Especially when it comes to the environment, the successor generation of Gen Y feels like the better adults who take more responsibility for the future than the parent generation, who have wasted everything and left their rubbish behind. As better adults, they see their task as educating and admonishing their parents: Share your resources and please clean up the garbage you have done here in the world!

However, the feeling of being able to determine a lot of themselves also leads to a longing for Gen Z to be able to lean on solid structures and authorities. Holding authorities are then often sought out on the net in the form of influencers, who, like older siblings, have a small advantage in experience and yet know the modern world – just like Rezo.


The rheingold Expert

Ismene Poulakos

Ismene Poulakos leitet den Bereich Kommunikation und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit beim rheingold Institut, Köln. Sie ist die Ansprechpartnerin für unsere Medienpartner.
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