In a digital era where content is as ubiquitous as the air we breathe, Gen Z – those digital natives born between 1997 and 2012 – finds themselves at an intriguing crossroads. Having grown up with the internet, they have had the world's stories at their fingertips since they could swipe a screen. But with great content comes great responsibility.
Let's dive into why they might be craving a throwback to the "less is more" approach.
Quantity Over Quality
Gen Zers have their pick of the litter when it comes to movies and TV shows. Yet, as the quantity of available viewing options has skyrocketed, some argue that the quality - particularly in terms of explicit content - has taken a nosedive. Rather than storytelling finesse, a surge of productions seems to bank on shock value to grab attention.
Gratuitous scenes and over-the-top narratives are often used as crutches to support otherwise lackluster plots.
Craving Authenticity: Real Does Not Have to Mean Raw
There is a yearning among Gen Z for authentic representation. They want to see real people with real problems. But for them, "real" does not necessarily mean "raw" or "explicit." They are searching for stories that resonate with their experiences without feeling like they are watching a sensationalized spectacle.
For instance, a coming-of-age drama does not always need a steamy sex scene to be impactful. The awkward first kiss, the unspoken crush: Those are the moments that often speak louder in their authenticity.
When More is Just More
Think of it as explicitness exhaustion. Being bombarded with extreme content can desensitize viewers. And many Gen Zers report feeling overwhelmed and even turned off by the pervasive explicit material. However, they are not prudes. They are just seeking a palette cleanser.
This demographic values mental health and emotional well-being, and sometimes, the constant exposure to intense content can be more draining than entertaining.
The Quest for Quality Conversations
Movies and TV shows that rely too heavily on explicit scenes often leave little room for the nuanced conversations that can arise from more subdued content. For example, a complex character study can spark discussions about human psychology or social issues.
An explicit scene for the sake of being explicit might only lead to a dead-end chat about the shock value.
Similarly, Gen Z has also grown up with social media algorithms that cater to their tastes, creating echo chambers of content that they agree with or enjoy. This selective exposure has, in a way, trained them to seek out content that fits their comfort levels more closely.
They are used to having control over what they see, and when movies or TV shows are too explicit, it can feel like a violation of that control.
The Diversity and Inclusion Angle
This generation is also the most diverse and inclusive. Yet, they expect their media to reflect that – not just in terms of race or gender but also in the breadth of experiences portrayed. They are calling for stories that include a variety of perspectives.
This may include those that do not rely on explicit content to be engaging. In other words, they are seeking depth, not just breadth, in their entertainment options.