According to the Central Statistical Office, the number of residents in Poland at 30 June 2017 was 38.422 million women and men. By reaching more accurate data, we can analyze the number of people born in the following years. And hence, close to the statement, how many people currently represent specific generations. Generations whose names and definitions have been present in the labor market for many years, in sociology, psychology, education and other areas of everyday life. Generations that change with the fast growing civilization development and technological progress. Once humanity needed hundreds of years to designate new ages. Currently, one generation, 20-25 years is enough to talk about changing behavior or socio-cultural trends and define another new generation.
How are the generations defined?
Generations of Polish society can be distinguished on the basis of the year of birth. He accepted the division presented in the following graphics.
The oldest, who were born during World War II and earlier, can be called a generation of war or interwar period. They are people over 70 who are no longer professionally active. This generation that survived the most difficult times and experienced the most – first fighting for life during the war and then for existence in the times of communism. In the times of the youth of this generation, one can not talk about using any technology in today’s concept of meaning. Well, unless we include technologies such as industrial, military, chemical and radio. Because the generation is minimally involved in social media activities, in further considerations we do not subject it to a deeper analysis.
The next generation called baby boomers (BB) are people born after the end of World War II. This generation is defined for the years 1946-1964. For the period of rebuilding our country. For difficult times of communism. They were people who had to think mainly about working and maintaining a family. A generation that is slowly finishing its professional activity. The chart is clearly visible, the first elevation after the war’s turmoil.
The next peak is the X generation. They are defined for the years 1965-1979. They are people born in the years of great systemic changes. Having more possibilities in life than BB. It was in their youth that the first computers and the first video and computer games appeared. This is the first generation for which work was not the main point of reference.
The next generation is Y. Generation Y, called millenials, is usually defined on persons born in 1980-1995 (although many authors postpone this period until 1999). This is a generation brought up in times of prosperity, in the age of satellite television, phones, cells, digital cameras, faster computers and search engines.
The youngest generation, called the Z generation (and sometimes C, iGen or XD) “iGeneration” “digital natives”, “digital X”, or children of the X generation. They were born after 1995 in the times of the Internet, iPod, iPad and iPhone. For them, the virtual world is on a par with the real – they are digitally addicted and always online. They can not imagine life without internet, social media, smartphone, tablet and modern technologies. Many of them had already used the Internet before they learned to read and write.
Philip Kotler in Marketing 4.0 writes about Z as a new type of customer: “He distinguishes their high mobility. Everything must be immediately – they can not waste time. When they see something they like on TV, they immediately search for it on the internet with their portable devices. When they decide to buy something in the store, they first compare prices and online quality. […] They are also very sociable and share in social media. […] In short, they are strongly connected with other people and have constant access to the Internet. ”
Of course, we accept some simplifications in the above definitions. People are individual by nature. The fact that someone was born a year or two later from someone else does not mean at once that he will be characterized by the pure qualities of a given generation. However, the closer we get to the means of compartments, the more specific annuals will have more attributes of a given generation. It is roughly about averaging.
Which generation is the most numerous?
Looking at the population structure chart by age or by the age of the population, it is clear that most people are between 30 and 40 years old, and the least is those over 70. If we combine these data with defined generations, it will turn out that the most numerous group is Z.
From year to year, an increasing number of people from the Z generation begin studies and take up professional activity. More and more students are setting up accounts on social media platforms and are taking part in online life. An increasing number of infants and preschoolers is an ideal target for many brands. Even the smallest children can have a huge influence on the parents’ purchasing decisions. Therefore, for the sake of simplicity, we adopted in our considerations for Z generation all persons born after 1995. Their number is 8.983 million and constitutes 23.4% of the population of Poland.
The second largest generation is Y with the result of 22.8%. About 57 thousand less we have baby boomers, which constitute 22.7% of our population. Interestingly, the X generation accounts for only 20.5% of our population. The conclusion is obvious – however we do not define the year separating the generation Z and Y, both these groups together constitute the most numerous generation in Poland. Generation close to internet.
Characteristics of generations in relation to their behavior in the online world and new technologies
By monitoring the media using Newspoint, we have reached thousands of documents that allowed us to accurately characterize all generations in terms of using social media platforms and the world of digital media, as well as features that are important for the labor market and employer branding.
BB generation and new technologies
- Poorly familiar with new technologies that have to be learned all the time
- They prefer traditional media, television and books
- They rarely use the Internet and mobile applications
- They rarely use social media
- They are not aware of cyber threats
Generation X and new technologies
- They are brought up in the age of television, which they prefer in relation to computers and mobile solutions
- Support for new technologies is not a problem for them
- They find themselves very well in communication and e-mail solutions
- They are not as online as younger generations
- They do not like to change the solutions they know
Generation Y and new technologies
- They actively use modern technologies and digital media in every area of their lives
- They are almost always online
- They live in a “global village” and thanks to the internet they make friends all over the world
- The quality of life and new life experiences become more important to them than to possess goods
- They are well educated and ready to continue to educate and develop
- They grew up in the free market
- They are characterized by high opinion about their skills, conviction about their own uniqueness, high expectations and strong aversion towards criticism
- They put computers above television and mobile
Generation Z and new technologies
- They make great life and professional plans in connection with modern technology
- They use many solutions and devices
- They draw knowledge from applications, blogs, forums and social media platforms
- Thanks to smartphones and tablets, they quickly find the information they need and find answers to bothering problems
- They are happy to share knowledge with others in the online world (especially through social media)
- They have a great need to contact their peers but mainly in the virtual world
- They are aware of the dangers lurking in the network
- They use smartphones and computers for writing
- They travel a lot
- It is important for them to build social relations
- Mostly, they absorb content in the form of images and video
- They are still online
- They put smartphones and mobile over computers, they do not need television
Characteristics of generations for the labor market
The BB generation in the labor market
- Very loyal – often devoted to one employer throughout their careers – do not look for new challenges
- They have very rich professional experience
- Practitioners who have experienced many issues known to other generations only from books, guides and articles
- They have overcome many crises
- Excellent mentors – they can best implement new people to work
- They know how to work with different types of managers and co-workers
- Good negotiators in business dealings
- They avoid conflicts
- Available – have adult children
- Most of all generations are afraid of losing their job
- They prefer personal contacts
Generation X on the labor market
- Loyal – they change their job several times in their lives, mainly when they have to
- Extensive professional experience
- They value work life balance
- They prefer personal and telephone contacts
- The easiest way to work with them is because they quickly adapt to the new environment and working conditions
- Very independent
- They do not like big changes
Generation Y in the labor market
- They want to work, but not all their lives
- Work should not limit them
- They are happy to set up their own businesses
- They are less loyal than generation X – they change jobs more often
- Flexible working time is important for them
- They can plan long-term
- Superiors treat as equal employees, but with broader competences
- They expect the employer to set specific goals, appreciate and partner relationships
- They are less independent than the previous generation
- They are better prepared to work in times of free market and globalization
- They most often perceive the principles of recruitment processes as quite difficult
- They often solve frequently emerging problems, but they do much worse in the case of non-standard ones
- They prefer e-mail and telephone contacts
Generation Z on the labor market
- They are entering the job market as students or even earlier
- They do not get attached to one employer, they are willing to change jobs more often than the Y generation
- They want to create their own very creative businesses, whose patterns derive from networks and foreign markets
- At work, there are difficulties with direct contact and superiors from older generations
- They have high expectations
- They are even less loyal than the Y generation
- They cope better with the latest applications
- They prefer e-mail, text messages and instant messaging
Using social media platforms
It is worth comparing generational data with available data of users of the largest social networking platform in Poland, which is Facebook (23 million users at the beginning of 2018). On the charts, the numbers do not add up to 100% due to rounding up to full percentages.
Generations Z and Y account for almost 2/3 of all website users. In the case of other services such as Instagram, YouTube the proportions are similar, only the share of particular age groups changes with a stronger shift towards the Z generation. Most of them use Instagram and YouTube. The only exception is Twitter – in this case we have a shift towards the X generation. Very young internet users do not actively use Twitter. Let us add the results of the research, which shows that in Poland the number of young Internet users is growing rapidly from the age of 4 reaching 90% in 10 years (Social Diagnosis, Conditions and quality of life of Poles).
More and more people use social networking sites from morning to night and this number will grow. The reason is simple – generational change; people from Z generation arrives and BB decreases in society. And despite the fact that Polish society is aging, those who are now X and use social platforms will mostly use them also in old age. Kotler in Marketing 4.0 writes: “With the aging of the population, people skilled in digital solutions will become the majority, and the phenomenon of connectivity will become something completely normal.”
Over 90% of Internet users in Poland use social media and Internet users according to PBI in January 2018 we had 28 million. Their number will grow in the coming years, because people from Z generation do not exist without a network. It can be assumed that since now the network is used by almost 73% of our society, in a few years we will achieve the results of Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, the USA, the United Kingdom or the Scandinavian countries at 90-95%. And that means even more content, comments, likes and videos on social media platforms. We are talking about an increase of 25% -30% in a few years!
In addition, from time to time new applications appear on the market that want to compete for millions of users (just like the last Vero). If someone is not satisfied with the functionality of existing websites, perhaps he will be tempted by a new one?
73% -> 95%
growth forecast for Internet use in Poland
(percentage of users)
An inquisitive and attentive reader could gently protest at this point. OK, the percentage of more people will use the Internet, but since our society is aging and fewer children are born, we count not a percentage of 38.4 million Poles from a smaller number. So the increase in content will be lower.
Well, this is not exactly the case. We did not take this into account because we still have the other side of the coin. There are more people from Z generation coming to the world, which create more and more content and do not exist without the Internet. people from Z generation will have a larger share in social media than BB at the moment. Immigration may also be a factor in the growth of the number of social platform users in Poland. Let’s also remember about constantly falling prices for GB of transfer and access to high-speed internet and its growing range (mobile, satellite and fiber-optic). Therefore, the aging of the society works on the downside, and, on the plus side, the more abundant creativity and penetration of the Internet among new years as well as new users settling in Poland. At the moment, it is difficult to predict the significance of these parameters and therefore in the coming years an increase in documents and online activities at the level of 25% looks realistic.
25% of content is a challenge for brands that already have serious problems with managing communications over the internet. The need for content monitoring will be even greater, not only due to the increase in the absolute number of materials, but also the growing importance of new formats – video and video. Of course, the monitoring of social media and the Internet will be of particular importance. Negative opinions, doubts, questions about the product, complaints, praise and congratulations will appear even more often in the comments, posts or movies. Only a quick response to such activities will allow us to achieve a competitive advantage, broaden the group of recipients and brand ambassadors, take care of a good brand image and prevent smaller and larger crises.
What about generations was written in the media?
We decided, over the last 10 years, to take a look at blog posts and social media about the generations analyzed. The results from the Newspoint monitoring are very interesting.
Only 10 years ago, we could hardly find any mention of the generation of Z. Then the generations of X and Y dominated. Since then, interest in the X generation systematically decreased. On the other hand, the Z-generation began to “gain weight” and the number of entries about it systematically increased. Generation Y maintains a stable level and since 2011 has been the leader of the listings in all subsequent years. The BB generation, as you can see, was the least frequently mentioned in the entire period considered. At present, almost ¾ entries only apply to generations Y and Z.