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Gen Z kids think Google is totally ‘lit’, Google’s study reveals

How do you do, fellow kids? Google has released its study on what US Gen Z teens think is cool, and it comes as no surprise that it found teens are into Google.

The study, cringily titled It’s Lit: A Guide to What Teens Think is Coolis meant to provide a glimpse into the lives of modern day teens and what they deem cool.

“Cool is an indication of what people pay attention to, what gets them excited, and can often act as a manifestation of their hope and dreams,” the study reads.

According to Google, “cool” is anything Generation Z (born in the mid 1990s to early 2000s) finds “unique, impressive, interesting, amazing or awesome,” which doesn’t really make the term less vague, but, hey, it’s a start.

The study looked at everything from social media to celebrities in order to determine what gets teenaged gears whirring.

According to Gen Z, technology is the most cool hobby, just after sports and outdoor activities. Rated uncool are jobs, cars and nature/travel.

In terms of social media, Snapchat and Facebook are the coolest platforms. But Google would also have you believe that Google+ is up there with 42.2% of teens using the platform — a number that seems wildly inaccurate.

Google: Gen Z is the most ‘aware’ generation, thanks in part to the internet

Chances are the survey asked who had an account, rather than who actively used it, as Google gifts everyone with a Gmail account another for Google+.

Google also asserts that Gen Z is the most “aware” generation — thanks in large part to growing up with the internet at their fingertips. When it comes to celebrities, those who are “philanthropic and genuine” (like Chance the Rapper and Emma Watson) are seen as the coolest. And when it comes to brands, companies that do good are seen in higher esteem.

“When I think ‘cool’ I imagine companies that do great things for customers/employees or beautiful/unusual products,” a 17-year-old girl told Google.

Top of the list of cool brands is YouTube, followed by Netflix in second and Google in third. Surprising brands in the top ten include Oreo and Doritos — beating out the likes of Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Apple.

When it comes to the least cool brands, teenagers offer more biting criticism than millenials. When rated out of ten, no brands scored less than a 4.5 for millenials. Gen Z thought that multiple brands deserved less than that.

According to them, the least cool brands include McDonalds, Yahoo, WhatsApp, Vice and People. For millennials, only Sprint, People, TMZ and The Wall Street Journal deserved below a five.

Though social justice seems important to teenagers, Uber still managed to settle on a solid medium coolness — likely due to the fact that the survey was taken in May 2016, well before its ties to Donald Trump and accusations of sexism.

Google sees this study as proof that upcoming generations value “information, stimulation, and connection.”

“As professionals, we should see this as our challenge — to live up to the standard Gen Z has set for us and to continue to inform, inspire, and create products and marketing that facilitate the world in which they want to live.”

Featured image: Maurizio Pesce via Flickr (CC 2.0, edited)

Author | Julia Breakey

Julia Breakey
Julia is a UCT film graduate with a passion for dogs, media, and dog-centric media. If she's not gushing about the new television show that you need to watch, she's rewatching The Good Place (which you need to watch). More