Updated: Mar 2
With the rise of TikTok and other social media trends, Gen-Z knows how to keep up with all of the latest updates, but are they aware of their technology usage? Social media is an outlet that can be used positively, but as Gen Z overuses these digital resources, they are also damaging their mental health. For example, a current survey reported that almost half of Gen Z respondents admitted being connected online for ten or more hours a day. More screen time means less time spent connecting with others in person, increasing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Although Gen Z has opened more of a dialogue and normalcy for mental health issues, some initiatives still need to be taken before the use of technology gets out of hand. For example, due to the pandemic, technology is regularly used more than ever within the education system as well as within the workforce. However, moderation strategies still need to be considered. The Gen Z population has never experienced loss on a global scale like older generations of citizens, surviving war or plagues. It’s found that Gen Zers believe themselves to be the most affected generation of the COVID-19 pandemic, while a third of Gen Z workers say that their work/life balance has been adversely affected.
Kudos to the Gen Z population pivoting when necessary and taking the reigns of a covid-19 world. Except now, there is a necessity to explore new solutions to prevent technology from taking over every social aspect of their lives, including regular in-person interactions. As individuals, human connection is essential whether you identify as introverted, ambiverts, or extroverted. Without those interactions, especially at a young age, the whole population wouldn’t know how to navigate, communicate, or cooperate in social situations. For example, there has been a significant decrease within simple routines such as going to the grocery store. In recent surveys, 52% of Gen Zers will not shop in person because of COVID-19, while 34% plan to continue spending high on their online shopping even after the pandemic.
Shaping the future of normal is a challenge, but not impossible. Adapting to the changes, understanding each perspective no matter what generation a person identifies, and being transparent are ways we can strive within a future led by the Gen Z population. Employees and investors, organizations, must act now to adopt sustainable operating practices and authentically showcase their positive environmental credentials. Time is of the essence, and for the next generation to not only survive, but thrive, there is a need for expectations and strategies to balance all aspects of communication and interactions.