Refusal to accept traditional identity categories has become the norm for many young people, but if we look closer other facts might come to our attention. The word Pivotals started to come up recently, so who are these people. Pivotal generation is a spot between Generation Z and Millennials who are between the ages of 12-34, there really is not a universally defined age range for this generation but the best way to describe them is that they are less than 18 years old. Attributes of their character includes creating their own unique identity, social behaviour and belief systems.
This is a very well connected generation, a study made by Moj Mahdara, CEO of Beautycon Media, found that 71% of Pivotals in the U.S have a friend internationally, beside that they have grew-up on technology, social media and mobile phones. In the same study other facts about Pivotals are revealed:
- They watch 2-4 hours of YouTube a week.
- Check their phone over 160 times a day.
- Take at least one selfie a day.
- They value their lived experiences over authority.
- They are hungry for the unique.
What’s more interesting to know is that Pivotals are not looking for mainstream culture to accept them, but rather they are breaking the mainstream culture itself. More than half of Pivotals wish not to label themselves, as they shy away from categories of gender, sexuality, and race, besides, considering themCoachingulti-cultured and embracing extremities of opposing views.
Perhaps the ladies would be happy to know that Pivotal men consider themselves Feminists. However, both men and women seek spirituality that is globally and digitally inspired, I can relate to this growing sensation from my own society, where there is a growing trend of practicing meditation and energy therapy such as Reiki and alike, besides other self- improvement practices, perhaps this explains the rise of Life Coaching as a career choice by many in my Middle Eastern culture.
Regarding the issue of Beauty, it is viewed differently in which it is no longer about product or technique but rather about a cultural movement and a way to challenge convention, this can be most evident in the rise of socially conscious beauty products which give emphasis on using natural ingredients, animal cruelty free and non-exploitation of labour. A well-known example reflecting how the view of beauty has changed is the singer Alicia Keys opting not to put make-up while being a judge in the American version of “The Voice”.
Moving on to the world of influencers, the same study made by Moj Mahdara and her team at Beautycon, found that 48% of pivotals follow an influencer, it’s important to see the change in norms this unique generation has to offer especially when it comes to influence vs affluence, according to Mahdara “culture used to be driven by affluence”, this means to be exclusive, projecting an unattainable image, this is an outdated model of celebrity. Look at the rise of many Arab female influencers but yet I have to differ with the findings of the study as it does not fully apply to Arab culture where with its tribal nature influence through affluence and family name still exist, perhaps this what drove some satire sites to exploit this sentiment and publish false news about how Linkedin is to introduce products for the Middle East market called “Wasta” which best translates to “favouritism through the connections you know”. However, still even in Middle Eastern markets purchasing decision can be driven by social media from influencers or your friends on social media. It’s worth mentioning that in the US 27% are driven by traditional celebrities.
Researched pivotals have shown that they don’t have aspirations of owning things such as cars or dresses since they have options like Airbnb and Uber, something I see in contrast to young Arabs where I can say that all my friends seek owning a car and a house but again, the penetration of these new modern technology apps and facilitators is not high and varies from one Arab country to another. This leads me to another issue regarding the adaptation of new technology in our everyday lives which I can elaborate on later in another post.