With all due respect, we're fully aware that 19-year olds aren't "kids," but when you've moved past the stage of life where you're a teenager, it's hard not to see teens as kids anymore. Teenagers in the last few years have taken a huge hit from older generations and have been looked down on a lot, especially with the heavy emergence of social media viral "trends."
Per Wikipedia: "Generation Z, colloquially also known as zoomers, is the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and preceding Generation Alpha. Researchers and popular media use the mid-to-late 1990s as starting birth years and the early 2010s as ending birth years."
Pew Research has determined that Gen Z is "more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation, and they are on track to be the most well-educated generation yet." Gen Z gets a lot of muck thrown their way, but there's honestly a whole lot to appreciate about this tech-savvy, well-educated generation that also happens to have the collective sense of humor that deserves a metric ton more appreciation than it's ever gotten.
Seriously, even if humor is often a coping mechanism for individuals, being able to laugh and make others laugh is truly a gift and some scientific research even suggests that being funny is a mark of intelligence. So, check out these radically awesome teenagers from the last few years who took to Twitter to prove once and for all the kids are alright.
According to WeForum, researchers in Austria recently discovered that funny people, "particularly those who enjoy dark humor," have higher IQs than their less funny peers. The researchers argued "that it takes both cognitive and emotional ability to process and produce humor" and their analysis also showed "funny people have higher verbal and non-verbal intelligence, and they score lower in mood disturbance and aggressiveness."
Pew Research also recognized that Gen Z are "digital native" who have virtually no "memory of the world as it existed before smartphones." Millennials were regarded as "early adopters" of technology and were the first generation to be raised with personal technology.
Millennials and Gen Z have something in common, as well: their views on key social and policy issues. Research from 2018 shows that both Millennials and Gen Z "are progressive and pro-government, most see the country’s growing racial and ethnic diversity as a good thing, and they’re less likely than older generations to see the United States as superior to other nations."
While research shows that Gen Z is on track to be the most well-educated generation so far, it's likely related to the fact that Gen Zers are more likely to have college-educated parents. Pew Research says:
"n 2019, 44% of Gen Zers ages 7 to 17 were living with a parent who had a bachelor’s degree or more education, compared with 33% of Millennials when they were the same age. Both of these trends reflect the overall trend toward more Americans pursuing higher education."
Further evidence suggests that while humor, dark humor especially, is linked to intelligence, that it's also linked to "high emotional intelligence and is a highly desirable quality in a partner." Astonishingly, WeForum also wrote that "evolutionary psychologists describe humour as a “heritable trait” that signals mental fitness and intellectual agility to prospective mates."
They also wrote that:
"In studies of attractiveness, both men and women rate funny people as more attractive, and cite having a good sense of humour as being one of the most important traits in a long-term partner."
Without a doubt, it's time to stop dunking on Gen Z just because some of them once ate tide pods. They're intelligent, empathetic, and resilient.
Gen Z is the future we need, whether or not it's the one we deserve remains to be seen. These funny teenagers are going to do great things and that's just not something you should try to argue with.