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Technology Habits Of Gen Z: Exploring The Use Of Flip Phones, Digital Cameras, And Voice Memos




(CTN NEWS) – Generation Z, often called Gen Z or Zoomers, comprises individuals born after 1997, according to the Pew Research Center.

These young people have grown up amidst the rapid proliferation of technology, including smartphones, social media, and, more recently, artificial intelligence.

However, they also harbor an appreciation for some older tech trends.

One such example is their embrace of old-school digital cameras, as evidenced by the popularity of the hashtag #digitalcamera on TikTok, which has garnered over 1 billion views.

Gen Z uses these cameras to create a more casual and nostalgic ambiance in their photos.

Nevertheless, when it comes to technology, this generation has its own set of unspoken rules.

From their approach to using emojis to their preferences for auto-capitalization, Gen Z has distinct ways of engaging with technology.

Here are some insights into how the youngest generation in the workforce leverages technology:

Voice Notes

Many Zoomers have a strong aversion to talking on the phone, preferring text-based communication.

However, there are situations where conveying tone and context is easier through the spoken word rather than text.

In such cases, voice memos come to the rescue.

Voice memos, also known as voice notes or voice messages, are a feature available on messaging apps like iMessage and WhatsApp.

They enable users to record and send audio messages instead of typing out text.

Among Gen Z, voice memos have gained popularity as they offer a convenient way to communicate without simultaneous conversations.

Whether someone has a lengthy story to share that would be cumbersome to type out or wants to ensure their tone is accurately conveyed, voice memos provide a simple and effective alternative to text messages.

This trend is underscored by the fact that last year, WhatsApp reported an average of 7 billion voice messages sent by its users daily, highlighting the widespread adoption of this feature among Zoomers.

Proper Emoji Usage

Emojis, those expressive characters that add a little flair to text messages and social media posts, are a versatile and evolving form of communication.

Gen Z, in particular, uses emojis uniquely, going beyond their literal meanings and diving into creative interpretations.

While there are already thousands of emojis in existence, Gen Z is continually reshaping how they are used.

For instance, traditional emojis like the laughing face may not be the go-to choice for expressing joy or amusement among Zoomers.

Instead, they often opt for emojis like the loudly crying face, featuring thick streams of tears, or the skull emoji when they find something humorous.

It’s common for Gen Z to use the phrase “I’m dead” in response to a joke, hence the use of the skull emoji.

The clown face emoji is another example of Gen Z’s emoji reinterpretation.

They deploy it when they believe someone is acting foolish or clownish.

The eyes emoji often denotes a sense of sly or cheeky intrigue, while the upside-down face typically indicates that things are not going as planned.

Emojis have their trends that come and go, and their meanings can evolve with time.

Gen Z’s creative emoji use reflects their dynamic approach to digital communication and suggests that new emoji trends may emerge.

No auto-capitalization

Generation Z has a distinct approach to digital communication—out with the capital letters and in with the lowercase.

For years, many Zoomers have been deliberately avoiding the use of capital letters in their texts, social media posts, and digital interactions.

Some even deactivate the autocapitalization feature, often the default setting on smartphones.

This unique linguistic preference has sparked discussions and playful banter on platforms like Discourse on X (formerly Twitter), with individuals questioning Gen Z’s choice to forgo proper grammar and humorously labeling it as the “murder” of the capital letter.

While no explanation exists for this shift, various theories have emerged.

Some Zoomers simply prefer the aesthetic of lowercase letters and the carefree vibe they convey.

Others speculate this shift reflects a subtle rejection of capitalism and traditional establishment norms.

Regardless of the underlying reasons, the abandonment of capital letters in digital communication is one of the more enduring trends of Generation Z.

Group Chat Names

Generation Z has a unique practice regarding text group chats—they often give them creative names.

These names serve various purposes, sometimes for practical reasons, like naming a group chat for a school project and other times for pure fun, such as inventing quirky names for chats with friends and family.

Many messaging services, including Apple’s iMessage, allow any group member to change the chat’s name to their liking.

The only constraints are the unwritten agreements within the group and the fear of being excluded from a new chat.

Naming group chats also has practical benefits, making it easier to locate conversations, especially when they aren’t among the most recent ones.

For those who want to name a group chat in iMessage on an iPhone, it’s a straightforward process.

You can do so by tapping on the icons at the top center of the conversation and then selecting “Change Name and Photo.

From there, you can choose a name that suits your group. No pressure—get as creative as you want!

Digital Cameras

Generation Z, known for reviving early 2000s trends like wide-leg jeans and claw clips, has also embraced another Y2K icon: the digital camera.

Over 60% of Gen Z used or owned digital cameras in 2019, and this trend has contributed to a 2% annual growth in the digital camera market expected through 2028.

Zoomers are passionate about photography and value a well-curated Instagram aesthetic, making digital cameras an excellent choice.

Using these cameras offers a sense of nostalgia while providing better flash and image quality compared to smartphones.

Digital cameras have more space for sensors, resulting in larger sensors and superior image quality.

The experience of using a digital camera adds to its allure.

These photos aren’t instantly available on your phone, which allows Zoomers to appreciate delayed gratification when uploading photos to a desktop.

This encourages living in the moment, taking pictures with friends, and revisiting them later on a computer, which can be quite enjoyable.

Using digital cameras offers a creative alternative to smartphone photography, making the process more enjoyable.

The photos taken with these cameras can elevate your Instagram feed or provide a fun way to capture life as if it were a magazine editorial shoot.

Photo Filter Apps

“Filter apps have become popular among Gen Z regarding enhancing their photos.

These apps, available for smartphones, allow users to adjust various visual properties like brightness, white balance, or contrast after uploading a photo.

Some favorite apps among Gen Z, such as VSCO, offer preset filters that can be applied directly to the image.

While many Gen Zers use filter apps to make their photos crisper, brighter, or more vibrant, there has been a resurgence of interest in filter apps that create a vintage film camera aesthetic.

For instance, apps like Dispo and Huji Cam simulate the waiting period associated with film cameras before you can view the developed photos, adding a nostalgic touch to the experience.

There are also apps like Dazz Cam, which enable users to apply film-like filters to their smartphone images instantly.

The popularity of these filter apps within Gen Z can be attributed to their desire for nostalgia and creativity.

Film cameras produce distinct, grainy, slightly blurry photos that stand out on social media.

Still, Gen Z appreciates the convenience of these apps, which allow them to achieve the film camera look without the added effort.”

Flip Phones

Gen Z has notably played a role in the resurgence of flip phones – yes, those flip phones from the past.

However, these tech-savvy youngsters aren’t entirely ditching their smartphones. Instead, many opt for a second phone, the flip phone, to maintain their presence during social gatherings.

A recent study by Common Sense Media discovered that teenagers can receive hundreds to thousands of notifications daily, making it challenging to escape the constant stream of notifications.

In response to this, some members of Gen Z have turned to flip phones as a solution.

These devices are readily available for under $40 through retailers like Walmart and Amazon.

Their relative simplicity offers respite from the constant influx of notifications from platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and text messages.

On TikTok, the hashtag #flipphone has garnered over 830 million views.

Users praise these devices for their old-school cameras, reduced distraction, and ability to spark interesting conversations.

In essence, flip phones are helping Gen Z find a balance between staying connected and having moments of tech-free interaction.


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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