There is no doubt that the pandemic has radically changed all of our lives. Before the pandemic, none of us imagined that we would have to think twice before going to a social gathering or miss out on the precious on-campus school or university life. Although many of us will remember this COVID phase for the rest of our lives, the much younger ones will barely have any memory of this. This brings us to a new notion of a whole new generation- a generation who will know about this pandemic through their history books!
HOW DID THE GENERATION C TERM COME UP?
COVID-19 is the generation defining moment for Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) as Gen Z people are coming of age at a time when they are experiencing a powerful and emotionally impactful event. It will separate this generation from the generation that comes afterwards- who are not born yet, are being born now or are just too young to remember how life was before and during the pandemic. Experts coined a new term for this new generation – the COVID generation or Gen-C, who will not face the brunt of the pandemic, unlike Gen Z.
THE CHANGING PSYCHOLOGY OF THE COVID GENERATION
Facing a pandemic for more than a year has instilled fear and uncertainty amongst the people. Haim Israel, Bank of America Global Research, opined, ” The crisis will scar them. And babies born even years after the pandemic will see it shaping their lives.”
Various research claims that people will become more risk-averse after the pandemic and will be more aware of their activities. They will think more consciously before making any decision. Changing home or even starting one’s own venture will become an anxious process. There is a shared loss of confidence as well and it will take a long time before people become risk-tolerant.
Even spending long hours behind the screen and behind closed doors can instill loneliness and boredom in Gen C- that will hinder their healthy mental growth. One way to overcome this phase could be to have family nights of fun and games so that you don’t feel so lonely. You could maybe search for the new horror movies coming out soon and binge-watch them, or even spend time watching a comedy flick with your friends.
THE UNIQUE PERSONALITY OF GEN C
The Gen- C toddlers and the babies, living through this isolation and home-schooling phase of COVID, might become more antisocial. A mother of a 5 year old exclaimed, ” I don’t know how he will interact freely with his friends once the school reopens.”
A research carried out by the Bank of America stated that Gen C will be different in four distinct ways. They will interact with their peers in a completely new way, mainly virtually for now, and in the future Gen C will grow up to lead a life completely dependent on technology. Be it online food delivery, online classes or virtual/ contactless payments- technology will be an inseparable part of Gen C’s life.
The pandemic also taught nations the necessity of cooperating to tackle the crisis. The emphasis on this global attitude will incline the new generation towards a more problem-solving mindset. The Gen C will also be more collaborative to solve problems quickly and collectively with others.
SIMILARITY WITH THE GREAT DEPRESSION GENERATION
Although people of every generation are affected, the period of change has a disproportionate effect on a cohort. Many younger children now are facing the frustration of their parents. Young people are facing uncertainty regarding their careers and are going through mental stress due to their studies or employment issues and also due to their restrictive social life. A similar sort of agony was faced by the generation that watched the World Wars unfold, the Silent Generation.
The people of the silent generation were the children of the adults who participated in the wars and witnessed the horrors, the loss of their loved ones, and experiences an unstable childhood. Also, there is a similarity in the degree of the financial crisis that these two generations have been exposed to as well.
RESHAPING THE WORLD OF BUSINESS
The crisis has caused people to cut down on their spendings. Although lowering prices is not an option for the brands during this economic uncertainty, they are focusing on investing in the digital customer journey and improving their operations.
The businesses and brands around the world will also try to tap on the ‘Gaining trust’ factor to attract the COVID generation who are uncertain and distressed. According to Forbes, a confidence building narrative will be the priority for branding premium products and services in the future.
The businesses might also have to respond to the price-consciousness of the Gen C consumers and they will have to come up with innovative ways to help customers manage their money in the future- using technology to provide customized offerings, incorporating expense tracking and budgeting to lead the consumer-centric world in the days to come.
SEEING LIFE THROUGH A NEW LOOKING GLASS
Staying indoors for a great extent of time will make the Covid generation more appreciative of life outside the closed doors. Socializing with friends and peers will be more valued than ever. In person meetings will have a greater significance for Gen C in the future, as most of their human interactions have been executed through technology. They will appreciate and cherish talking with them face to face instead of being glued to their phones during hangouts.
Gen C will also practice and value personal hygiene with utmost dedication in their daily lives, unlike previous generations. Use of face masks may not stay relevant after the pandemic but they will be more conscious of the threat of diseases in the future. Besides they will hold an open mind to diverse employment opportunities. The work-from-home and rapid advancement of technology will also allow them to work wherever they want in the world, without leaving the comforts of their own home!
Advent of Generation C will define the coming decades, reshape industries, drive fundamental changes- forging and impacting the lives of millions. While it is not possible to accurately predict the future, much research is being conducted to better understand the mindsets of those who will hopefully transcend the potential of their predecessors.
By Anika Tahsin Lisa