The emerging generations’ sentiment and behaviour during COVID-19
The response to COVID-19 has been global in its nature and changed almost daily. Because of the uncertainty and wide-spread implications, it was a cause of anxiety and stress for many, with the emerging generations being no exception.
Sentiment in a changing context
The pace of change on a global scale has caused people to feel uncertain and anxious. This was even truer for the emerging generations. Having never lived through an event like this, Generation Z and Generation Y felt greater uncertainty as a result of COVID-19 than their older counterparts. When asked about the future, one in two (51%) Gen Zeds felt extremely or very uncertain, compared to 46% Gen Y, 38% Gen X and 27% Baby Boomers.
Generation Z are feeling more anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed, confused, and unprepared about the unfolding COVID-19 situation than any other generation.
Who did Gen Y and Z turn to for information?
The primary source Generation Z turned to for information was social media, with one in two (49%) citing it as the source they used the most for finding out about COVID-19 and how to respond.
This was followed by Government websites (38%), news websites (33%), mainstream broadcasting networks like TV and radio, (33%) and the World Health Organisation website (29%).
Generation Y turned first to government websites (37%) followed by mainstream broadcasting networks like TV and radio (36%), news websites (36%) and social media (35%).
One of the defining traits of the emerging generations is that they are social. Compared to other generations, Generation Z are more likely to be using social media (49%) and discussion with family and friends (28%) than their older counterparts. While a third of Gen Zeds turned to mainstream media for information (33%), it is much less than their older counterparts (36% Gen Y, 54% Gen X and 72% Baby Boomers).
Despite their frequent use of social media, only 8% of Gen Zs and 7% of Gen Ys trusted social media for information about COVID-19. The two most trusted sources for both generations was the World Health organisation and government/state government websites.
Younger generations helping the vulnerable in times of need
While individuals and households faced different challenges brought on by COVID-19, there was and still is a strong sentiment that we are all in this together. As all generations seek to do their part to keep themselves and the vulnerable people in their community safe, the emerging generations are no exception. Two in five (40%) Generation Y’s said they would buy goods for those who are more vulnerable.
When it comes to providing help, the emerging generations are the most likely to say they would donate to charities caring for vulnerable people in the community (24% Gen Z compared to 21% Gen Y, 24% Gen X and 18% Baby Boomers).
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