Step into the world of Gen Z through the eyes of V.I.A.'s first teen-aged columnist who shares her unique perspective on everything from the demise of capitalization to the emergence of new slang like "rizz."
Interested in learning more about the quirks of Gen Z culture? We’re happy to do a Part 2. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Why don’t teens use ‘LOL’ these days?
You might think you’re a step ahead knowing that LOL means "Laugh Out Loud" and not "Lots Of Love," but most of Gen Z has already moved on. If you’re interested in brushing up on your texting game… introducing a new alternative to fit in with the youngsters: the skull emoji (💀) or the loudly crying emoji (😭) in place of LOL.
2. Why do young people type without capitalization?
In the world of texting, looks matter — even if it means breaking grammar rules. Typing in all lowercase letters breaks all the grammar rules we've learned in school, and Gen Z loves how pleasing it looks to the eye. And this savvy generation takes it one step further by turning off Auto-Capitalization in their Settings app to fully embrace the lowercase look. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, leaving many wondering just how important looks are to the younger generation.
3. What does it mean when "you’ve got rizz"?
Are you familiar with the TikTok term "rizz"? If not, you might be out of the loop on the latest Gen Z slang. “Rizz” is short for “charisma,” and having rizz is a skill — one that captures the ability to attract and charm a romantic interest. The next time you hear someone saying “You’ve got rizz,” take it as a compliment, because Gen Z definitely sees it as one!
4. Why do teens use random emojis with their texts?
If you’re texting a teen these days, their usage of emojis may seem like they don't belong in a message, but that's exactly why Gen Z loves them. Many of my friends often throw in an emoji with a completely opposite expression to add a touch of irony to their texts. Take "no❤️" for instance — it's a sarcastic way of shutting something down with a hint of sass.
“Did you finish your hw?”
5. Why do some Gen Z seem hopeless about the state of the world?
New data from Statistics Canada (2022) reveals that over half (52 per cent) of youth aged 12 to 17 perceive their mental health differently than their parents. This is evident in their bleak outlook on future financial security, concerns over the looming climate change crisis, frustration with political polarization, and the constant barrage of social media and negative news stories.
6. Meme culture has taken Gen Z by storm, but what’s a meme anyway?
A meme is a humorous image or short video clip, usually paired with a comedic caption. Memes often reference pop culture, current events, or everyday life situations in a relatable way, making them particularly popular among the tech-savvy generation. There are even websites on the internet whose sole purpose is to allow people to create memes.
Emmy Woo, a senior at Vancouver's Crofton House School, is the first high school student writer for V.IA. She has contributed articles to Young Post by South China Morning Post and The Los Angeles Times HS Insider in the past. When she's not challenging senior citizens to a game of mahjong or using Duolingo to learn a new language, Emmy is an advocate for underrepresented voices in the media.