Through the rise of social media and the seemingly endless issues of the world, Generation Z have repeatedly challenged its norms and values. A noticeable movement was the Black Lives Matter movement, where most of the world united in solidarity for George Floyd and all of the injustice faced against black people. Although people of many ages became involved, Gen Z have arguably been more open-minded and culturally aware than all other ages. It is easy to spread information and share ideas using social media platforms, and this is how many movements have become known by the world. Moreover, most of the Black Lives Matter protests were organised by young people, who are determined for the world to change its attitudes.

In addition to this, it is not only the protests in the summer that Gen Z have become a part of.  As a member of Gen Z, I have noticed a rise in people constantly sharing ideas and posting awareness on Instagram and Snapchat about those who are suffering, whether it is as part of a movement, or if a country is facing difficulties: for example in war. This is significant as it has allowed many people to raise money for charities to help victims, and to find some kind of a solution to help others. An example of this would be the Uyghur muslim concentration camps in China. As many people were able to sign petitions and raise awareness, the UK government has finally taken notice, and have since created plans to make a change. This particular issue started around seven years ago, in 2014 - yet gained attention in 2020, after the rise in persistent activism by Gen Z.

So we have seen the positive aspects of their activism, and how they are able to challenge stereotypes as well as bringing awareness to certain issues. This has become increasingly apparent to issues such as Denim Day, on the 28th April, where young people wore denim in solidarity against sexual violence - or when they wore red in solidarity for Sarah Everard. This is all positive- but how can some people see this as slightly problematic?

For starters, Gen Z have arguably become too sensitive, and try to ‘cancel’ people for not sharing the same views, even if they respectfully disagree. The rise of cancel culture has resulted in people being unable to share their views and have healthy discussions, which goes against the right of freedom of speech. So does this mean that we are not so open minded after all? As well as this, a lot of activism, by influencers in particular, has come across as very performative, and ingenuine. An example of this would be during the Black Lives Matter Protests, when there was a higher number of people who posted a black square on Instagram than people who signed petitions. This goes to show that activism is not always completely positive, and people often act as if they are doing more good than they actually are.

However, human rights issues such as racism and sexual violence should not be up for debate, and for this reason, the change in people’s attitudes is much needed. Whether or not this is performative is not so relevant, as it still brings awareness for others, and encourages them to challenge their views.