4 Reasons Why Gen Z Is The Loneliest Generation
If you thought millennials were lonely, it looks like Gen Zs have it worse. In fact, Generation Z is the loneliest generation in recent history. According to a study by Cigna, “nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone or left out.”
The study also found that Gen Z scored an average of 48.3 on the loneliness scale, which is a high score. On the other hand, Millennials scored an average of 45.3 on the Loneliness scale and Gen X scored an average of 45.1. Baby Boomers scored a mere 42.4. While you may assume an older generation might be the most isolated, these results suggest that Gen Z is the loneliest generation.
Loneliness Affects Our Health
Unfortunately, loneliness can have profoundly negative effects on mental health. Cigna, citing a 2010 Brigham Young University study, claims, “loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.” While it’s important to enjoy your own company, loneliness is not healthy for our minds or bodies, so finding friends is important.
With the help of the internet and dating apps, being able to socialize shouldn’t be so difficult for this generation. Online methods of communication are booming in the information era, allowing Gen Zers to get instant gratification for their cravings for social interaction. But why are Gen Zers still so lonely?
1. Online Methods of Squashing Feelings of Loneliness Aren’t Cutting It Anymore
One reason why Gen Z is the loneliest generation is that online remedies for loneliness aren’t cutting it anymore. It’s true that social media can make people feel connected without actually having daily interactions. However, online methods of communication do not generate the same feelings of companionship. Likewise, online activities like computer games often involve over-stimulation. This means that Gen Zs feel tired and less willing to connect after engaging in those activities, leading to loneliness.
2. Childhood Loneliness
Another reason why Gen Zers might be more lonely is the fact they have become accustomed to it. More Gen Zers experienced loneliness in their childhood. In fact, one survey found that 56 percent of Gen Zers report that they experienced loneliness at least once or twice a month during childhood. Only 24% of Baby Boomers reported feeling the same way. As Timothy Geoglein writes in The Daily Signal, “There are numerous reasons for this loneliness, including the decline of institutions that used to provide community for children.” He writes that the number of community-based groups like churches and sports leagues have declined, while “isolating activities such as social media have risen to take their place.”
3. Online-Only Interaction Is Easier
Gen Zers are getting too accustomed to online-only interaction. 72% of Gen Z workers say they want to communicate with managers in person, while most managers prefer instant messages. Gen Zers are finding it easier to just instantly shoot a text instead of seeing a friend. Texting is easier because it only simulates real human interaction. In this way, it makes sense why Gen Zers might experience anxiety when communicating in-person.
4. Gen Zers Have A Lot On Their Minds
Finally, Gen Zers are busier than past generations. With everything that Gen Z young adults have gone through in recent years, including pandemics and school shootings, Gen Zers have a lot on their minds. Likewise, with the cost of living skyrocketing, it’s only natural that Gen Zers are more serious compared to previous generations.
Why do you think Gen Z is the loneliest generation? Let us know in the comments below.