Gen Z’s Hive Mind Is Redefining Historical Norms in 10 Unexpected Ways

In the fast-paced digital landscape of recent years, the influence of Generation Z has been undeniable. With their inherent connection to technology and social media, Gen Z has formed a hive mind that has the ability to shape trends, challenge norms, and propel movements with astonishing speed and impact.

1. The VSCO Girl Trend

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The VSCO girl trend took the internet by storm, showcasing the power of the Gen Z hive mind. Defined by their love for oversized T-shirts, scrunchies, and Hydro Flask water bottles, VSCO girls became a global phenomenon. This viral trend gained immense popularity through social media platforms like TikTok, with millions of young people adopting the VSCO girl lifestyle and sharing their experiences online. From perfectly curated Instagram feeds to a shared vocabulary and even environmental consciousness, the VSCO girl trend exemplified the influence and unity of Gen Z’s collective thinking.

2. The Rise of TikTok Challenges

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TikTok has become the epicenter of viral challenges, serving as a testament to the Gen Z hive mind. From dance challenges like the “Renegade” to creative skits and lip-syncing trends, TikTok has spawned an array of viral sensations. The collective participation in these challenges demonstrates how Gen Z’s shared online experiences can captivate and mobilize an entire generation. The platform’s ability to unite individuals around the world in a single trend showcases the hive mind’s powerful impact on cultural phenomena.

3. The GameStop Stock Rally

San Francisco, California, USA - January 29, 2021: GameStop stock rally on Robinhood app due to Reddit wallstreetbets subreddit.
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In early 2021, a remarkable event unfolded as Gen Z and millennial investors collectively rallied around the struggling video game retailer GameStop. Through social media platforms such as Reddit’s WallStreetBets, these investors coordinated their efforts to drive up the company’s stock price, causing significant financial implications for established Wall Street players. The GameStop stock rally showcased the strength of Gen Z’s collective action, challenging traditional financial systems and highlighting the power of online communities in shaping real-world outcomes.

4. Climate Activism and the Global Youth Strike

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - JULY 26, 2019: Greta Thunberg demonstrating outside the Parliament House, Stockholm.
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Gen Z’s commitment to addressing climate change has galvanized a massive global movement. Inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, young people worldwide have organized strikes and protests demanding action on climate issues. This unified and unwavering dedication to environmental causes has captured international attention and served as a catalyst for policy discussions and changes. The youth-led climate activism movement demonstrates the Gen Z hive mind’s ability to mobilize for a common cause and demand systemic change on a global scale.

5. The Impact of “Stan” Culture

Inglewood, California, USA - January 31, 2022 - Hong Joong the rapper of ATEEZ, a Kpop boy group, performing at the LA Forum during the THE FELLOWSHIP : BEGINNING OF THE END Tour.
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Gen Z’s obsession with “stan” culture has brought about an unprecedented level of dedication and influence. From music artists to TV shows and even political figures, the act of being a “stan” refers to an extreme level of fandom. Through social media, fan communities have formed, creating shared identities and language specific to their chosen “stans.” The collective power of these online communities has reshaped the way celebrities and public figures engage with their audiences, as well as the dynamics of fame and influence.

6. Internet Challenges for Social Causes

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Beyond entertainment, Gen Z has harnessed the power of internet challenges to promote social causes and spark meaningful conversations. For example, the #ChallengeAccepted campaign gained traction on social media, encouraging women to share black-and-white photos of themselves to raise awareness about female empowerment. Similarly, challenges like the #TrashTag and #Plogging gained popularity, motivating individuals to clean up litter and promote environmental consciousness. These challenges highlight the collective desire of Gen Z to drive positive change and leverage their online presence for a greater purpose.

7. The Memeification of Pop Culture

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Gen Z’s influence on pop culture is unmistakable, as they have transformed the way we consume and engage with entertainment. Through the creation and sharing of memes, Gen Z has turned popular movies, TV shows, and even public figures into cultural icons.

Memes act as a form of collective expression, reflecting shared experiences and humor among young people. This phenomenon demonstrates the Gen Z hive mind’s ability to shape and redefine cultural references, with memes often becoming viral sensations that transcend borders and generations.

8. The Shift towards Sustainable Fashion

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Gen Z’s emphasis on sustainability has also extended to the fashion industry. Young consumers are driving a demand for eco-friendly and ethical fashion options, pushing brands to prioritize sustainability. From thrifting and upcycling to supporting eco-conscious brands, Gen Z’s collective focus on sustainable fashion is reshaping the industry’s practices and prompting a reevaluation of consumption habits. This movement showcases the Gen Z hive mind’s determination to make conscious choices that align with their values and promote a more sustainable future.

9. DIY and Upcycling Trends

Couple in Love Painting Furniture Chair for Cozy Home.
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Gen Z has embraced a culture of do-it-yourself (DIY) and upcycling, redefining consumption patterns and promoting sustainable practices. Through social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram, young people share innovative ways to repurpose and revamp old items.

This collective interest in DIY and upcycling showcases the Gen Z hive mind’s commitment to reducing waste and embracing creativity. From transforming thrift store finds into trendy fashion pieces to repurposing furniture and household items, Gen Z’s influence on sustainable living has become a force to be reckoned with.

10. Mental Health Awareness Movements

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Gen Z has played a vital role in destigmatizing mental health and promoting open conversations surrounding well-being. Through social media campaigns like #EndTheStigma and #SelfCare, young people have shared their experiences, struggles, and coping mechanisms.

This collective effort has fostered a sense of empathy, support, and understanding within the Gen Z community and beyond. By raising awareness and encouraging discussions around mental health, Gen Z’s hive mind is working towards creating a more compassionate and inclusive society.

11. The Rise of Social Justice Content Creators

Adorable little toddler girl with rainbow painted with colorful window color during pandemic coronavirus quarantine. Child painting rainbows around the world with the words Let's all be well.
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Gen Z has embraced digital platforms as a means to amplify social justice issues and advocate for change. Young content creators have utilized YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms to share educational content and highlight various forms of inequality.

Whether it’s discussing systemic racism, LGBTQ+ rights, or intersectional feminism, these creators have built large followings and engaged audiences. This collective effort to educate and inspire has played a crucial role in raising awareness and shaping public discourse on important social justice topics.

12. Online Entrepreneurship and Influencer Culture

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Gen Z’s entrepreneurial spirit has flourished in the digital landscape, with young individuals building successful businesses and personal brands online. Through platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and Etsy, Gen Z has leveraged their creativity and digital savviness to create and promote products and services.

This collective shift towards online entrepreneurship has disrupted traditional business models and enabled young people to forge their own paths to success. Gen Z’s hive mind is reshaping the economy and challenging conventional notions of work and career.

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This article was produced and syndicated by A Dime Saved.