It’s understandable that many educators perceive members of Gen Z to be internet-savvy. Young people often do have more advanced cultural fluency in an online environment, says Mizuko Ito, a cultural anthropologist who studies young people and media technology at the University of California at Irvine. Their understanding of memes, social media platforms and other ways of communicating come from an adolescence where the default mode of socializing has been online.
“My generation, in those formative years where we’re building relationships and building our sense of self, we weren’t doing it through sharing memes or playing video games together,” Ito says. “That is a genuine advantage that young people have, because I think cultural fluency is really hard to be taught or pick up later in life.”
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