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June 7, 2018
6/07/2018

True to Self(ie) Part 2: Technophiles

How Gen Z, the first mobile-first generation, incorporates tech into their day-to-day
Gen Z was the first to truly grow up in the age of mobile. 96% in the US have smartphones,1 most of whom receive their first by age 10.2 With so much exposure at such a young age, it’s not surprising that this generation has developed a whole new set of habits and behaviors that’s uniquely theirs. 
68% of Gen Z admit to sleeping with their phones next to them, and 46% can’t go more than an hour without checking their phones when awake.3 While this may sound like a cause for concern, Zs don’t necessarily see it that way. In fact, 83% of teens view technology as something useful that makes their lives better.3
59% of teens say they use tech for as many tasks as possible3, and 61% prefer to keep photo or video memories of events rather than physical momentos.4 Perhaps that’s why Gen Z chose Snapchat  — a platform for communication, saving memories, keeping up on the news, and more — as their favorite app.5 It’s been a consistent year-over-year favorite, with teens saying they now use the app more than they did a year ago.4
Gen Z say they love using Snapchat because it provides a fun new way to communicate with their best friends.4 When 70% of teens say their friends are like family to them, it’s not surprising that teens’ favorite platforms are usually the ones their closest friends are on most. 
As tech savvy consumers, Zs are acutely aware of their personal privacy on the apps and websites they use. So much so that 43% of Gen Z have two different identities/profiles on some of the platforms they use — one that’s public-facing and another that’s private.4
It’s also important for Gen Z to know that the things they post aren’t permanent. 61% of them say they’ve deleted a past photo or post because it no longer reflects who they are today.4 This may reflect a broader change in how teens communicate online. Talking with disappearing messages, photos, and videos empowers people to express themselves without feeling like they’re always on the record — much like how people communicate in real life. Snapchat pioneered disappearing messages over six years ago, and ephemerality plays an important role in why Snapchatters continue to use the app today. 
Gen Z is the first generation of digital natives. And as a result, technology is an integral part of their day-to-day. With phones always at their sides, it’s never been easier for advertisers to reach and bring value to to the lives of Gen Z. Still, it’s important that marketers fully understand Z’s unique mobile habits to break through and make the most of their advertising spend.
To learn more about Gen Z and how they spend their free time, check out Part 1, Z DNA, and Part 3, So On Brand, from our “True to Self(ie)” series where we uncover teens’ relationship with tech and reveal their top brands, attitudes towards advertising, and spending habits. 

Snapchat can help your small, medium or large business grow.

1Global Web Index, What You Need to Know About Generation Z, Q4 2016
2The Center of Generation Kinetics, State Of Gen Z, 2016
3Cassandra, The Gen Z Effect, 2017
42018 U.S. True To Self(ie) Cassandra Study commissioned by Snap Inc.
5Piper Jaffray, “Taking Stock with Teens” 2019
6Gen Z: Insights Into the Mobile-First Mindset of Teens, March 2017