Communication, centennials, and the aunt of the WhatsApp


Challenges of the new generations

Ernesto War of the Rock / Jesus Alberto Elizondo Salazar (*)

In the novel “The Chair of the Eagle”, Carlos Fuentes tells us how to develop a country where the telecommunications were blocked and we did not have the internet to communicate. The author tells how the characters, especially of the political class (setting in which the story goes), to be unable to use the electronic media, you are forced to use the correspondence as the sole means of communication.

Imagine a scenario such as that posed by Sources in the present would seem like a nightmare, one of those that is very difficult to awaken. We are a society that is constantly connected to social networks.

In these difficult moments in which humanity is living, which has been isolated because of the Covid-19, are the digital platforms that have achieved that we can communicate with the rest of the world to be able to update us of the latest news about the virus.

The centennials as the digital natives have a number of features that makes them very different to their cousins and brethren of the milennial, they are a generation that does not know the change as he was born in the, are grouped in legions, are multitaskers career and like to keep the family away from his professional aspirations.

To have grown up having all the information at hand has made them to lack of sufficient time to reflect deeply on their lives, so they swim in a sea of superficialities that makes them to be a generation much more emotional than others.

It is a reality that if one day there is a blockage in the telecommunications, it would cause a negative effect on society, because we would lose that immediate ability to communicate. But, who would live with greater difficulty this situation are not those adults. These could get accustomed easily to return to using the media of old. Are the young people belonging to Generation Z, also named centennials or the digital natives, that they would be more difficult to adapt, because they do not know the world without the internet and all the new tools of communication that have been invented.

For years, experts of the social sphere, studies have been conducted to locate out the age range they belong to the centennials. As mentioned to a report by the british government “Social Attitudes of Young People”, is considered this generation to people born after 1990. While for the australian firm McCrindle Research Center, this demographic group is between 1995 and 2009 (Injuve, 2016).

But this generation cannot be understood without analyzing the digital ecosystem in which they interact and report. Contrary to what happened in past generations, where a large part of the content that is exposed in the traditional media were interests of political or business, today, these generations have a wide range of means at hand to be documented, as well as to also express his point of view.

As mentioned by the sociologist and expert in digital communication Manuel Castells, in the magazine “Nexus”, the youth nowadays combines the internet and the different traditional media in order to compare the information available and make their own point of view. “Take a piece from here, combine it with a tv program over here and an image there, and the idea is that each one constructs his own message and choose the universe of communication in which it is inserted” (Castells, 2012).

According to anthropologists, the centennials also suffer a number of disorders, most of them ill not be connected to the networks, turn away from the family and towards the distant with the TICs, they don’t want zones or offices and feel a pressing need to be active in some aspect.

The idea that social networks allow digital natives to be able to write, review and create their blogs or websites to spread the news is fairly positive for the freedom of expression, but it produces great risk, because it is not known if all of what they publish is true or false.

In Yucatan, was circulating an image to the name of the governor, where he announced that “he had instructed a stop of a temporary public transport as a preventive measure to the contingency of the coronavirus Covid-19”, which caused panic among the population. So the state government through the official media had to publish that it was an untrue report.

But not only the aunt of the WhatsApp is inclined to believe this type of notes, and also the centennials are prone to fall for the fake news. According to a study conducted by the University of Stanford and published in The Wall Street Journal” about the reliability that the students will have to information that appears in digital media, around 82% of high school students surveyed could not distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” or an actual news in a web page. (Shellenbarger, 2016).

According to various studies, 70% of the centennials does not share your personal information, but check their networks more than 100 times a day and their span of attention is 4 seconds average per publication in an average of 7 social networks different. Each social network has different characteristics and with different degrees of penetration by generation, in the case of the centennials Instagram and Snapchat are the favorite social networks to be more graphic, personal, and emotional than others.

To be able to build communication campaigns successful for the generation of centennial it is important to take into account that use the networks for entertainment and consumption of content more than for information, or to comply with some objective productive, do not tolerate the invasion of his privacy, motivates them to create and prefer the fun to socialize.

Regardless of whether it is a political campaign or commercial, it is basic to achieving base campaigns in studies on the fears, aspirations and feelings of the centennials that you want to arrive by means of specific communication channels, such that a content for the centennials could make you lose followers in another generation.

The politicians in Tik Tok should avoid make a fool of himself because they would lose all the other generations, but if you manage to be present in this network, a more serious it would be profitable with centennials. The digital natives have another way of doing politics. Prefer to get involved in civil society organizations rather than the traditional parties. Looking to put on the table and the agendas of the governments key issues such as: inequality, poverty, diversity and the environment, among others.

Two examples of this generation, who through their actions have caused great impact in the society are those of Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai. Their deeds and words give us the certainty that, after the darkness in which we live, we will see the light of day.— Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.


Political scientist. Masters student in Political Communication and Marketing of Elections / senior Consultant centennials in Spore and director of the youth organization Alliance 2030

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