Give Gen Z the flame to light the Beacon fires and they will not disappoint you.
Generation Z have hijacked the cyber world, from TikTok trends to YouTube challenges, the youth of the noughties are undeniably the most digitally savvy to date. Like our vast universe, the web functions under a biosphere, an e-cosystem. Tradition doesn’t seem to appeal to my generation, much like Campfire Convention, Gen Z resists the status quo.
To quote The Who, it seems that everyone is ‘talking ‘bout my generation,’. Watching the world go by and the digital age spring to life surfaces questions and anxiety- how safe is social media? Does it add any value to our lives? And, what can we learn from Generation Z? Born in 1999 I have vague memories of living with a single family computer, or ‘free calls after 7:00pm’, but the majority of my childhood has revolved around tech. Furthermore, though practitioners of organised religion begin to decrease, I have rarely experienced living a lifestyle that’s central aspect is religious beliefs. Nonetheless, Gen Z are extremely transparent when it comes to spirituality. Social media such as TikTok and Instagram have been criticized for their algorithmic system that appears to favour white creators over others, despite this the youth on these platforms, especially TikTok, continue to engage with spirituality and social injustice. The current climate online, though plagued with trolling and hatred, finds it’s balance through diversity.
A study ran by The Australian National University showed that 91% of teens agreed with the statement that ‘Having people of many different faiths makes Australia a better place to live’. Aside from the separation of materialism, spirituality, secularism, monotheistic etc. the AGZ study concludes that the experience of diversity online has an incredible impact on tolerance and harmony within our communities. The youth of the present day are engaging with their curiosity and questioning what is known as ‘normality’. In addition, occult and pagan traditions are more prevalent than ever in younger generations, whether it be through Black Lives Matter protests or becoming plastic free- young people feel pulled towards their passions in a way like no other. The internet has gifted the youth with a voice that they didn’t have before, Campfire Convention amplifies these voices for a creative and strong online community.
However, ‘normality’ is not what it once was, with the world battling a pandemic and social injustices the political climate has never been so, well, not normal! To tackle the uncertainty of our current climate, Campfire Convention’s World Harmony Solstice Event ran digitally, extending the world of festivals, spirituality and community to the great web that my generation knows so well.
Last year UK festivals were flooded with big name acts such as Foo Fighters at Reading and Leeds (which I was lucky enough to attend) and Stormzy at Glastonbury (no luck here). Following the call were thousands of teenagers and young people, in 2016 18-20 year olds made up 13.8% of festival goers and 21-25 year olds held the greatest share with 18.2% of attendees being within that age range. However it’s not only the names in lights that pull Gen Z to festivals, it’s the emotion. That feeling of your mate picking you up at 7:00am to drive down to a muddy field in the middle of the British countryside, sipping on a lukewarm beer around the campfire and making memories. Pitching the tent, meeting your neighbours for the weekend, watching the sun rise from behind the winding hills that cascade around the festival venue. It’s an intensity that is almost ineffable, it’s the feeling of pure freedom. To engage with young people is to tap into their creativity and willingness to let go.
(Image: Brunno Campos from Pexels)
Festivals see their fair share of young people present, therefore how is it that we can transform these numbers from face-to-face activities to becoming part of an online community? Campfire Convention emphasises the importance of both face-to-face community and an organic online space with all the algorithms and data advertising stripped away. At its core, Campfire Convention is the perfect platform for my generation, yet they need to be aware of its existence and the benefits of using a site that promotes creativity and individuality!
TikTok tarot is one of the most interesting phenomena currently sweeping the social media. Teens and young people are growing to appreciate the otherness of our universe, the sheer spirituality of living and existing. The online community continues to grow and Campfire Convention could have an incredibly impactful influence on Gen Z’s experience with spirituality and community online. The realm of TikTok can seem terrifying, it’s made up of a tablespoon of dry humour, a pinch of dancing, and a whole lot of young people. Yet, the platform entertains in such a way that hasn’t been seen since Vine disabled uploads in 2016. Taking a walk through the TikTok community you’ll find that millions of users under the #witch and #babywitch tags, continuing further into the occult community on TikTok will reveal the beautiful community that has thrived against all odds of the often normalcy promoting algorithm. Akin to Campfire Convention, witches of TikTok aim to ignite passion and collaboration for social change; it’s inclusive, diverse and above all else self empowering.
(Image: Teono from Pexels)
In 2019, TikTok was the third most downloaded non-gaming app, only placing behind Whatsapp and Facebook. It’s unknown what the developers owe their success to, the algorithmic ‘For You’ page, the freedom of creativity, or was it simply luck? Speaking as a Gen Z and as somebody who has used the app tirelessly, I think it’s a fine mixture of all three however the most fundamental aspect of the app is the users. Building youth engagement is often tough, as a generation we can be rather unpredictable, with humour now ranging from a cartoon green frog to memes that surround the name of pop artist Grimes’ newborn.
While engaging with young people can be a difficult task, they have the greatest influence on the internet. Not only is it rewarding to involve Gen Z in your online community but also in the creation of it. Coming of age in a time which is so unpredictable enhances our want to take control and be a part of something bigger than ourselves, we are driven to make that change! However most important is exposure and understanding that no two social media platforms are the same. Campfire Convention is unique in its organic approach to creating a community, easily shareable content on platforms like TikTok will give this amazing platform the chance to gain a following of thousands of young people who are also looking to escape the algorithms and monetised data of the mainstream social sites. Give Gen Z the flame to light the Beacon fires and they will not disappoint you.