There’s a certain phenomenon in human behavior that seems to be working in our favor lately. Remember when you were growing up, you always wanted to do what your father was doing. Until you didn’t.
When I was young, I always got crew cuts. Then, around my teen years, I saw that my dad was getting crew cuts, so I wanted long hair. Remember those days? Then, my dad started growing his hair long, and all I wanted was NOT to look like him. Consequently, the hair went short again. Call it the “I don’t want to be my parents” syndrome.
We went from FM to albums to 8 tracks (for about a year) to cassettes to streaming services. Now that we’re on the edge of technology, the kids are going back to vinyl. Because we’re not.
In the dot-com era, this also extended to technology. At first, our parents had no idea what the Internet was until MySpace made us cool, while the next generation was hiding in plain sight on Facebook, which baffled us. Eventually, we figured out (and became obsessed with) Facebook. As soon as that happened, the kids scattered all over the Internet: WhatsApp, Instagram and now TikTok . . . anywhere but Facebook . . . just so they aren’t where their parents are hanging out.
Your Father’s Oldsmobile?
So why all the talk about yesterday?
I’m extremely interested in generation Z, and they now seem to be interested in film photography. I’ve been lucky enough to teach marketing classes at a local university. I can’t tell you how fascinating it is to stand in front of 20 year olds and understand their take on the world.
They don’t read newspapers. They get all their news on TikTok and Instagram. They don’t care about CNN vs Fox. In addition, not many of them voted in the last election. They are über obsessed with social media. However, film is cool again. And so are darkrooms.
We must take this opportunity to embrace their enthusiasm and invite the next generation of videographers and film photographers into our stores.
We should all be enthusiastic that gen Z doesn’t want to be doing what we’re doing. Again.