Gen Z Turns to Social Media to Defeat Lockdown Loneliness

They may be the most ‘connected’ generation in terms of digital technology, but Gen Z desperately desires the human touch and to feel part of a community, according to research by getWizer and JoyVentures.

During the pandemic lockdown loneliness appears to have taken its toll on Gen Z, with two-thirds reporting feeling lonely and 62% admitting they would like to feel more in touch with other people. Interestingly, and possibly as a direct result of COVID regulations, Interactions with their friends at present are done on a higher frequency via social media than face-to-face.

How lonely do you feel?

Social Media Provides Sense of Community

Older generations tend to believe social media results in the ‘loneliness paradox’, which suggests that all that time online connecting with lots of people leaves us feeling isolated. Gen Z actually reports that the opposite is true, according to the research conducted by getWizer and JoyVentures, by using their favorite social media platforms to overcome feelings of loneliness. In fact, social media provides them with the sense of community they are yearning for and helps them to minimize the feeling of isolation. However, the research shows that females (54%) are more likely to find social media more supportive and helpful when they feel lonely, compared to their male counterparts (41%).

The need to turn to social media for comfort when they are lonely is not so surprising given that overall social media makes Gen Z have a more positive outlook on life, with 61% saying it makes them feel creative, inspired, excited and free.

Only 14% report negative feelings from social media. Yet again, however, there is a difference between the sexes, with females tending to experience greater highs on social media, but also greater lows.

How does social media make you feel within using it?

Addicted to Apps, but Not Addicted to Paying For Them

TikTok will have 37.3 million Gen Z monthly users by the end of 2021 compared to 33.3 million on Instagram. But these are not the only apps Gen Z is addicted to. On average they have 28 apps on their phone with 18% having 50 apps or more. The younger they are the more likely they are to use a higher number of apps. Females also use slightly more apps than males. The majority of Gen Zers are downloading about 1 or 2 new apps in a week. But savvy marketers should take note — around half are not paying at all for apps, and this aversion to paying increases among the younger age groups. The takeaway from this is that apps with embedded costs or subscription fees might find it harder to penetrate among Gen Z.

Enjoyment of Low Tech Hobbies

When asked to describe themselves, Gen Zers say they are creative and are good at adapting to new technologies. However, and very interestingly, they also yearn to live a simpler life. This characteristic can be found when their top hobbies are examined. While video games lead the way, they are followed by more traditional and non-tech pastimes such as working out, cooking and reading. But as you may have already guessed, it is the boys that prefer the virtual world of video games, while the girls could teach them a thing or two about enjoying life’s more simple pleasures!

Remember, that getWizer’s automated research platform can quickly help you unlock and understand the habits, wants and needs of this highly engaged generation. To book a demo click here.

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