Kids of today spending too much time in front of a screen is a topic often discussed, and often in a negative context. Generation Z hasn't known a life without the strong digital influence of today, but is that a bad thing or could it create a generation of people who will change the world for the better? Kristin Macfarlane reports.
Generation Z, Gen Z-ers, Zoomers - they're the group of the population that has never known a life without Google.
Born between 1997 and 2012, they are growing up with information at their fingertips, with more access to everything happening in the world than the generations before them.
If a racially-motivated attack happens in another country, they hear about it.
If people's experiences and witness accounts of social injustices are shared, they see it.
If examples of starving polar bears, extreme weather conditions, or coral bleaching linked to climate change make their way on to the internet, they speak out in droves.
They are generally the most open-minded of the generations and Zoomers are excited at the prospect of a future with them leading the world.
But how did today's generation of youth come to be such confident social activists?
Samuel Taylor is an 18-year-old Zoomer inspired by the actions of many of his peers.
He cites last year's climate change strikes in New Zealand involving about 170,000 people - the majority students - as one of the biggest "coming togethers of a generation".
The Mount Maunganui teenager should be in the United States right now getting ready to begin his life as a Harvard University student, but because of Covid-19 this has been delayed at least a year.
But he's been keeping a close eye on friends in America.
Seeing them stand up for issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement has been inspiring, he says.
He describes his generation as an open-minded one, built from well-informed, entrepreneurial minds that speak out about issues they feel connected to - climate change and social injustices among them.
"As a generation, we're more informed than any generation previous."
Because of this he hopes his generation will be the one to change the world for the better - and it's not until Zoomers are the main voting base that he believes structural change will happen.
When Cydney Ebeling thinks about growing up in a digital age of information she believes "ignorance is really like a choice".
Because the same amount of information wasn't available to previous generations, they became conditioned to what had been given to them. It's for that reason Cydney believes a lot of Gen Z-ers feel responsible to make the most of improving society.
She's a proactive 23-year-old who puts her money where her mouth is as part of her efforts to "dismantle white supremacy", donating to organisations and groups that are working to right injustices.
Among them includes the Black Lives Matter Foundation, which aims to eradicate white supremacy and support black communities, as well as the Grassroots Law Project, which works to transform justice in America, draws attention to cases of criminal injustice, provides legal support and advocates for deep structural change.
The Mount Maunganui Zoomer says, as a white woman, she wants to use her privilege to make a positive difference in the world and is looking forward to the time her generation leads the world.
"I'm hopeful that our generation will be more progressive leaders," Cydney says.
"I definitely feel I try to be positive about what will happen."
According to 17-year-old Orla Walsh, there has been a generational shift in people wanting to do more to improve the world they live in now, and for the future.
"I feel like people in our generation feel they have an obligation to right wrongs that they see in society and have this desire to do more and really be a part of change in society," Walsh says.
"I think it is a generational movement."
The John Paul College head girl says her generation is already making a positive impact on the world and the name Greta Thunberg is synonymous with that.
I feel like people in our generation ... have this desire to do more and really be a part of change in society
The Swedish environmental activist sparked an international movement to fight climate change after delivering an emotional speech at the 2019 UN climate action summit in New York accusing world leaders of ignoring the science behind the climate crisis.
She was 15 at the time and inspired four million people to join the global climate strike last September - including about 170,000 in New Zealand.
"We have such strong role models," Orla says of Greta.
"I think she's been quite inspirational to make people feel like they have choices and a voice."
In the last year climate change and Black Lives Matter were among the biggest issues to dominate headlines around the world and both have been backed by Gen Z-ers.
"When you see injustice it makes you want to act."
Orla says her generation seems more open-minded than previous generations and is noticing a shift towards unity including racial, cultural and religious equality because Zoomers want to do more for the world and society.
Technology and living in the digital age has meant people "see injustice a lot more", and seeing it gives people an emotional connection and response.
But does growing up in a digital age actually create a generation of people who will change the world for the better?
As a millennial with a Gen Z-er daughter, I've noticed major differences in our views of the world at the same ages.
At the age of 9, my daughter decided to become a vegetarian, associating it with animal cruelty and a way she could reduce her environmental impact. More than two years later I can't imagine her ever going back to being a meat-eater.
I don't think either of these issues were even on my radar at that age. Instead, the biggest change I made for myself was probably deciding to cut my hair into a bob.
Before plastic bags were banned she made a point to always carry a reusable shopping bag in her school bag just in case I forgot my own, and while grocery shopping I've been encouraged many a time to choose certain products over others because of the amount of plastic packaging used.
She has definitely created change for the better in our household at least.
If you look back on the generations, you'll notice transitions across the ages.
The silent generation, those born between 1928 and 1945, are known to be hard workers. They lived through the Great Depression and World War II. During that timeframe in New Zealand, there was a decline of Māori children being fluent in te reo.
During the years of the Boomers, born between 1946-1964, television prompted a big change in people's lifestyles. The Baby Boomers, a name given to them because of the influx of births after WWII, was a generation of cash-buyers who went without if they didn't have the means.
During the years of Generation X, those born between 1965-1980, the push towards convenience was evident. During these years, the disposable plastic shopping bag was invented, plastic straws started to be mass-produced and McDonald's was opened in New Zealand.
Before Zoomers it was the Millennials, born 1981-1996, that led older generations in embracing technology but today, they are probably better known as the demographic that likes to spend their money on smashed avocado toast instead of buying homes.
University of Waikato lecturer Dr Aleea Devitt, an ageing, human behaviour, human development and psychology expert, said today's youth were generally more open-minded than previous generations.
However, she said that was through no fault of the older generation which was conditioned with information they had on hand at the time - nothing like it is today.
Devitt's expertise lies in the behaviours of the older generations and says receiving new information that counters anything you'd already learned could be "extremely difficult".
"You almost have to re-learn and change your behaviour."
Beliefs have often been conditioned into a person so it can be hard for older generations to accept that some of the things they have been taught have been wrong.
"I think one kind of big issue is more like misinformation in terms of the older population."
Because the younger generation is growing up in an ever-changing digital world, they will be more technologically literate and are likely to identify websites with trusted information more easily than the rest of us, she says.
But it's not all positives for the digital natives, who constantly know what their friends are doing, see a world of perfectly-groomed boys and girls looking as though they are always on the go, and don't know how spend their time without technology if they're bored.
Nancy Broomer, a Rotorua doctor, has four kids aged between 18 and 25 and only just falls into the Boomer generation.
Over the years as a GP working in youth health she has seen the impacts the advancement of technology has had on young people.
When she was growing up she didn't have colour television or the internet and when people wanted to communicate with each other they wrote a letter or called them on the landline telephone. She remembers only being allowed to talk to her school friends on the phone once a week.
Today, things are a lot different for youth.
While she acknowledges growing up in a world where people are better informed and aware of what's happening in the world are positives for digital natives, the downside is knowing what people are doing and where they are at any time of the day, and also comparing their own lives with others' on social media.
"I think it brings out the best and worst.
"It's been good in making people more aware of what's happening ... it's bad because it makes people feel like they're missing out."
This can have negative impacts on a person's self-esteem, moods, make them feel anxious, become sleep deprived and feel inadequate, which she has seen as a doctor.
Despite all this, Nancy has high hopes for Zoomers - a generation of people more open-minded than those previous and "willing to get off their bottoms" to make things happen.
Her son, Gen Z-er and digital native Adam Wong-Toi agrees, saying if Zoomers continue the way they are he has no doubt his generation will change the world for the better in the future.
The 17-year-old John Paul College head boy says veganism as a way of reducing people's carbon footprint is common among his age group, as is recycling and people standing up against social inequalities through marches, protests and post-sharing.
In the past, these may have been issues considered by other generations at older times of their lives.
Adam says growing up exposed to more information younger, also means his generation is able to work towards making positive changes earlier.
Some of those improvements include efforts towards stopping climate change and helping generations that may have been less informed to accept equality.
"We are going to be living on this earth and we don't want it to be destroyed by our own people.
"We want a world where all people feel like they're an equal part of it."
Rotorua's Charlotte Sutton is 23 and believes her fellow Gen Z-ers want to live in a world better than it is today, and will put action behind their desires.
She has been conscious of her own carbon footprint since she was a teenager, recycling, cutting out plastic, composting and reducing fast fashion purchases as a few of her everyday habits.
"I try to be mindful of it."
For Zoomers, she says, it's important for them to push to try and fix climate change.
"You can't deny [climate change] any more ... people would get behind it because you couldn't really dispute it."
Members of Generation Z are excited at the prospect of a future with them leading the world.
But the results of what they achieve are still some years away.