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Why Millennials and Gen Z speak another visual language

‘Hyper-curated perfectionism’ underpins Millennial visual language, whereas Generation Z embraces real self-expression through imperfection, according to a new report by Kantar. What drives these differences between the two generations regarding their visual language?

Over the years we’ve seen our on- and offline lives getting increasingly intertwined, with every new generation spending more time online than the generation before them. Our online environments have become more immersive. Blockchain and NFTs have allowed us to customize and personalize our digital environments and identity.

These digital developments have facilitated another way of behaving online. Millennials grew up during the rise of social media, which was still novel and served to portray us more favourably. On the other hand Generation Z grew up as mobile natives, using tech and digital savviness as their assets in all aspects of life. Their on- and offline worlds are even more intertwined than that of previous generations. Research by Vice supports this idea. Although they found that all generations said that they are their most authentic selves in front of their close friends, Generation Z was much more likely (1 in 3) to say that their online identity is their most authentic self, compared to Millennials (1 in 5) and Generation X respondents (1 in 10). 

We’re curious to see if, with the rapid developments of the web, our need to resemble our offline lives with our online lives will keep increasing. Looking at how Millennials versus Generation Z already prefer a different visual language online, this might just be the case.

Image credits: Kantar