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Updated: Apr 24, 2022

The advance of Generation Z to the driving center of social expressiveness, that is, taking the space of those who, in a way, lead the sociocultural climate of society at a given moment, is an immense attraction for scholars and speculators to create immense doses of opinion. about “how this generation thinks/acts” and what to expect from the social dynamics from its supposed supremacy on the collective board, through its greater dominant participation in the media, market, movements, arts, etc.

One of the most striking characteristics in relation to these studies is that they usually start from very specific and defined perspectives, such as the absolute perspective of consumption, technology, or artistic behavior. The mistake, therefore, is the lack of a more systemic and holistic view of their behavior, taking into account broad contexts and not momentary and sectored vanities.

On several occasions I have insisted that the dynamics of generations swings pendulously between two fundamental points: the material and the existential, which we sometimes call liberal and conservative, but as the latter are very risky terms nowadays, we opted for the former.

Thus, there is a force in the sociocultural climate, arising from its own historical concept, which organically drives the emergence of generations of one kind or another.

Of course, we must remember that we are here talking about generations from the perspective of Western history, that is, according to the conjuncture, plot and coherence of Western history, which currently follows and preaches industrial, liberal (now yes, in the political term) values. ; is capitalist, Christian and of (more recently) British origin.

Also, socially speaking, most of these studies focus on a generic middle ground: we talk to the middle class. That is, people who are financially very poor or very rich can completely escape the rules of these analyzes, and deserve others – these are more extreme cases. Dealing with an immense majority of people who, in general, live between one end and the other, tends to be more credible, in addition to making more sense, when we are trying to deal with statistical matters. In this way, of course, any record of this type of study may sound very unreal to much of the world that is not part of this society as a whole, or at least that does not share the same basis of thought, behavior, goals and history. Having said that, let's proceed. The infamous generations of the 20th century (lost, grandiose, silent, boomer, X, Y) manage to reveal to us, in a broad context, this clear pendular process: more existential generations give rise to more material generations and vice versa. For example, the boomer generation is the daughter of the generation that lived through World War II. They are children, because of an extremely material generation, which in fact created (and destroyed) structures, and very little can be expressed — it is not for nothing that it is called the “silent generation”. Therefore, the boomers, children of a generation that bequeathed them structures (we cannot forget that the silent generation not only survived the war, but also made a new world blossom from it, generating immediate material prosperity in it), tend to be more existential, as if they thought “ok, we have the structural bases, now let's think about the essential bases, in thinking, in living”. It is also no coincidence that the boomers were the hippies, bringing the deconstruction of conservative and materialist values ​​to the center of the social debate. On the other hand, the children of a generation that was very concerned with existential and essential issues such as sexual freedom, breaking of paradigms, moral deconstructions, etc. now someone has to clean the house, pay for the drinks, wash the dishes, put the furniture in place, buy medicine for the hangover”. That's it: the (perhaps) most material generation of all is born, generation X, famous for giving rise to the infamous “yuppies”. Work, career, own home, own car, etc. These were slogans of a generation that never got into a van and went around the world to “find themselves”, as they had to grow up and die in a job that started at 17 and would only come out of retirement. They left a material, structural legacy. Because of this, the children of generation X, once again, were born with a great structure that was bequeathed to them, becoming then an existential generation, linked to rethinking values, life, ethics, morals, society. , and thus the generation Y (Millennial) appears, also famous for the “hipsters”. Understanding this, in the sequence, we can notice within the definitions of this pendulum, a clear distinction between the inclination to POSSE and the inclination to USE. More material generations are those that tend to have a mindset more linked to ownership, to HAVING things, whether building or not. Existential generations are those that care less about possessions, and more about use, with what matter can provide them, even if they don't actually have them, are more inclined to BE. See, while generation X was responsible for developing more practical ways for people to buy things — in the sense of owning them — such as installment plans, booklets, career plans and, unprecedentedly, strictly financial professions, generation Y , far beyond social and connection technologies (such as social networks) bequeathed us with the development of technologies more linked to use without the mandatory need for possession, such as (to mention briefly) Uber, where I can ride a car without need to have the car. Airbnb, where I can live on the beach for a while, without having to own a beach house. Spotify, where I can have all the songs without having to buy each one. The list is immense. Logically, however, we are beginning to explore a new sociocultural climate, opposite in terms of this pendulum, a climate that is increasingly determined by the generation following Y, that is, the era of Generation Z has arrived — and it is not here for a walk. It is not necessary to go very far to understand that the path of POSSE, of TER, and not only of USO and USAR is what seems to begin to dictate the new dynamics of the game: for the first time the term scarcity has been used to refer to some digital asset, and scarcity is the principle of possession. When we talk about the entire WEB 3.0 or, what we prefer to call the New Digital Market — something that goes beyond the barrier of just a matter of technological features — a few things are so clear and common to all points of this wave than the possibility of possession. DAO, Tokens, NFTs, cryptocurrencies, etc, all these elements, of course, allow use, but their ontological nature is possession, since they are born from the concept of uniqueness and scarcity. All decentralized yes — or even “multi centralized” to be more precise, but with this allowing access to fragments of asset ownership like never before. Any resemblance to a new generational perspective on market dynamics is not purely coincidental. We are indeed entering the eye of the hurricane of the GenZ climate, and that means, among other factors, that things now tend to put aside — without forgetting what has already been conquered, of course — the prolixism of Generation Y, that is, the Generation Y's dense need for experience, and now the "vibe" of order is TO HAVE, it's the ASSETS, and no longer the experiences they provide. Now, in a world where real, physical and analog assets have become totally scarce, inaccessible and distant from the direct reality of the vast majority of people, in addition to being a world where digital technology has advanced so that WEB3 could actually exist, it is not it is also surprising that possession has become a digitized possession. Proof of this is that we are discussing “metaverse” in a language that was unacceptable for a few years before: today we naturally treat the purchase – in real money – of land, for example, fully digital. In the early 2000s, a “second life” was nothing more than a collective joke to refer to people without the slightest kind of social tact — people with no “experience in life”. ”. Today the conversation is completely different, part of the next owners of the world already know that first they need to own the digital world. Owned, signed, past blockchain and all. It is yet another counter-revolution that we are seeing happening.

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