Generation Z Takes in Information Instantaneously

December 29, 2020

By Katherine Williams

In an article for The New York Times, an 18-year-old college student said, “Generation Z takes in information instantaneously, and loses interest just as fast.” She couldn’t have phrased it any better. With an attention span of only eight seconds, Gen Z has the shortest attention span of any generation in history. Being digital natives who have grown up with constant access to social media and the internet, Gen Z is full of teens and young adults that communicate primarily through memes, seconds-long TikTok videos, and shortened internet language. Additionally, 92% of Gen-Z users report being online daily. This means that as Gen Z spends more and more time online, they become even more desensitized to the content in their feed, expecting more and more immediately stimulating content. To that end, Gen Z expects instantaneous consumption and infinite content creation. These demands may seem overwhelming, but understanding how fast Gen Z processes the world is key to engaging young users more effectively and authentically.

While previous generations may have been able to focus on a long article or commercial and think about one thing for a long amount of time, Gen Z is constantly multitasking, switching between apps, and scrolling through content in many formats. Brands need to get straight to the point when talking to Gen Z, especially as apps like TikTok have encouraged videos that are shorter and shorter. Even though the app allows clips to last for up to a minute, the most popular videos among Gen Z are the ones that last only for seconds.

Gen Z’s extremely short attention span combined with a childhood filled with a constant flow of media and information means that Gen Z is especially connected to visually driven content. Rather than long paragraphs about a brand’s message and identity, Gen Z likes brands that show why they’re unique through their visual aesthetic and social media accounts. Gen Z would rather scroll through an Instagram feed than read a magazine profile, meaning that setting up your social media accounts to communicate with users within seconds is key to engaging Gen Z.

Because Gen Z takes in information within seconds, old forms of media and messaging aren’t quite as effective when communicating with young users. Remodeling your brand’s digital presence to be quick, clear, and easy to digest ensures that Gen Z will engage with your content and stay loyal to your brand.

Adolescent Content, a global marketing agency run by Gen Z for Gen Z, can help tailor your marketing strategies to attract your target consumers.