Are the worries about Generation Z merely hype or is there something to them?
I recently posted a blog on the topic of whether “Generation Z” is in trouble. Is this really just a case of generational finger-wagging or is there something to this concern? If you didn’t read my blog but are interested in this topic, perhaps you prefer this vlog format. I’m diving in and giving vlogs a try. So far, it’s been a fun adventure!
I have a bit of overlap right now between some of my written blogs and my vlogs, but I will be all caught up shortly and not replicating the same content in two formats. In the meantime, I hope you find this vlog informative and engaging – that’s my goal! And, like most things in life, I think these vlogs will get better over time, but hopefully I’m off to a good start with these.
Transcript of Vlog: Is Generation Z in Trouble?
Hello, This is Tech Happy Life with Dr. Mike Brooks. In this next series of segments we’re going to be taking on the question of, “Is Generation Z in trouble?”. So is this technological generation in trouble with their smartphones and social media.
You have probably seen various news articles and headlines about this and how teens are struggling in more ways than in generations past.
First I want to say, Who is Generation Z?
Generation Z are the kids who’ve grown up always connected. So they’ve basically never known a time before the Internet, and maybe not even smartphones or social media, so they’re growing up always connected.
Now, if we step back a little we’ll see that every generation has a form of moralpanic going on. And this goes back to, you know, when books were first introduced, newspapers, radio, television, video games. And the older generation will look at the younger generation with these new forms of media and do some form of generational finger-wagging. Saying, “Oh, gosh look at these kids these days – they’re going to hell in a handbasket with what’s going on!”. And then they’ll say stuff like, “Well back in my day, we had it better, and we did this or that or the other”.
But are our kids really in trouble? Are there reasons to be concerned, or are we just doing some version of this generational finger-wagging?
We’re going to take this on, and take a closer look – is there evidence of a screen problem?
First thing I’m going to do is steal from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the galaxy and say, “Don’t panic!”. Our kids are not falling off a cliff into oblivion, and despair, and depression. But if you’re here today watching this you probably have legitimate concerns, right?
So what we’re going to do here is we have anecdotal evidence of our personal experiences, but what does the research say about how screens are affecting us?
By many metrics the kids today are doing better than previous generations. So, for instance, [there are] fewer committing assaults, there are lower teen pregnancy rates, higher high school graduation rates, fewer kids are drinkingalcohol in high school. So by many metrics the kids are alright, but by some other metrics they’re not doing as well as previous generations.
What I would argue if we had to pick one metric to look at on whether Generation Z is doing better or worse than other generations? I would say the metric would be their overall happiness.
So when we talk about happiness, psychologists often refer to this as “subjective well-being,” and what we’re looking at is a deep-rooted sense of contentment. We’re not talking about pleasure – now that has its place in life, and that can be sex, drugs, rock and roll, eating vanilla ice cream, or whatever. Pleasure has its place in life, but when we’re talking about overall happiness, we’re talking about that deep-rooted contentment.
And as parents, that’s really what we want for our kids, right, for them to be happy. And, in a way, happiness is the only goal we try to achieve for itself. All other goals, as parents, we want our kids to get into a good college, for instance.
If we say “Why?” – Well, so they can get a good job. Why get a good job? So they can get a good income. Why get a good income? Ultimately it leads back to “so they’ll be happy”.
Now when we look at Generation Z, there is evidence that they’re a bit less happy than previous generations. Not falling off a cliff into despair, but a bit less happy, and it could be the technology and social media has something to do with this.
So, in future segments we’re going to delve into this more about why this could be.
Like and subscribe to Tech Happy Life! This is Dr. Mike Brooks, and I hope you join me on this journey.