These days, the term the MZ Generation appears quite often on the news and the Internet. It is a generic compound of the Millennial Generation who were born from the early 1980s to early 2000s and the Z Generation from the mid-1990s to early 2000s. People in the MZ Generation have a strong influence in the consumer market, accounting for 33.7% of the Korean population and 60% of the members of major companies. In other words, they are both real consumers of modern society and the foundation of the future. In hindsight, society and companies in various fields focus on the characteristics and trends of the MZ generation. Then, what are the features of the MZ generation, the leading force in Korean society? Kyungnam Times ● 21 1. Digital Native The MZ Generation has been living a life with digital devices ever since technology has advanced at a rapid pace. Characters appearing on smartphones and tablets have become the most familiar beings for children, and students take it for granted to access digitized knowledge on the Internet. For them, digital technology is not amazing and not accepted as new. The digital world is comfortable and natural because of the variety of online activities and interactions with people who have the same ideas. They share everything in their lives by uploading not only their beliefs but also their daily routines on Social Network Service (SNS). It is no exaggeration to say that SNS is a life record sheet for the MZ generation. 2. Meaning Out The MZ Generation has more stake in consumption. This phenomenon is called ‘Meaning Out.’ It is a compound of ‘meaning’ which means belief, and ‘coming out’ which means revealing. The MZ Generation actively expresses their own tastes, political and social beliefs, which are not usually revealed, through consumption. One example of meaning out is veganism. Veganism is establishing a healthy routine by avoiding meat-based and dairy products by consuming vegetables or non-animal products, and purchasing artificial fur products. Another example of meaning out is Coupang, an E-Commerce website for efficient delivery services. When a fire broke out at Coupang's parcel distribution center, the company lost consumers' trust due to poor working conditions and complacent responses to disasters. In response, people uploaded posts on SNS containing the hashtags of Coupang and boycott. Because of their actions, the MZ Generation not only refuses just purchasing or boycotting products, but actively communicates online. They reveal their identities by sharing what they think is meaningful and valuable with others. 22 Now&Here 3. Sharing Economy The MZ Generation values sharing more than ownership. They engage in economic activity by recognizing it as a concept of lending and borrowing goods to each other; not a concept of owning goods. In addition, they borrow not only goods but also production facilities and services as much as they need without having to own such things and lend them to others if they do not need them. For example, sometimes rather than owning their own cars, they use short-term rental car services such as Greencar and Socar or use electric kickboards that can be easily rented through applications. Plus, they also use second-hand markets to sell or obtain products at low prices. This can be said to reflect the characteristics of the MZ generation who wants to share experiences and make reasonable purchases through the sharing economy in a society where prices continue to rise. 4. Personalization The MZ generation is firm in its tastes and pursues new experiences for their own satisfaction, even if they are different from others. They also prioritize themselves more than previous generations and value independent life. This new demographic structure of the MZ generation has changed the market trend, resulting in personalized consumption. As a result, the era of providing universal goods and services seems to be over. The MZ Generation prefers brands that respect individual tastes and provide various options for consumption. A representative example of this is Over The Top (OTT) service. For example, video streaming platform companies such as Netflix and Watcha use algorithms to provide personalized services. Kyungnam Times ● 23 5. Eco-friendly The MZ Generation pays great attention to cleaning environments and resources for the future. They try to actively practice their ideal in their daily lives to protect the environment. This trend can be confirmed through the Zero Waste Challenge. This is a campaign to share cases of reducing waste emissions in daily life through SNS with the aim of minimizing waste emissions close to zero. The growing interest in the environment of the MZ generation has also affected many companies. As many companies declare Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) management, they have begun to make attempts for improving the environment, such as reducing disposable products during the packaging process and conducting carbon-neutral activities in product production. As we have defined definitions and characteristics of the MZ Generation, we were able to confirm that the MZ generation is an important member of society, including leading change for the future. However, not only the MZ generation, but also various generations such as the X Generation and the N Generation are co-existing in our society. For these generations to live together, everyone must understand each other’s circumstance. Even if we cannot fully understand each other, it will be possible for generations to coexist if we accept each other's differences and acknowledge their attributes.