Tips on connecting during COVID-19 – from a Generation Z
As the COVID-19 pandemic brings new challenges every day, Aussies expect self-isolation and social distancing to impact their lives in a number of ways. According to our latest research into the impacts of COVID-19, two in five (43%) Australians expect their day will include less physical activity if they are staying at home more. While 38% expect they will experience increased boredom, a similar proportion (36%) believe this could be an opportunity to do more of what they enjoy.
Some Australians (29%) believe they could experience increased feelings of loneliness if they are spending less time with other people. This is a more significant concern for Gen Z (those born 1995-2009) than it is for other generations (41% Gen Z compared to 29% Gen Y, 25% Gen X, 27% Baby Boomers and 28% Builders), because they are used to very active social lives that are now being disrupted.
While more concerned about loneliness than the older counterparts, Gen Z (born 1995 – 2009) are well positioned to thrive in this new normal of connecting with friends, family, colleagues and peers through online platforms. For Gen Z, integrating the digital world into everyday life is nothing new. Connected through the devices that go with them everywhere, they already view technology as an extension of the self; a platform to socialise, share and connect on unprecedented scales.
From Instagram to Tik Tok or Zoom, Gen Z are forging new ways of connecting to their peers during this global pandemic. So what can we learn from them?
Here is a lesson on connecting with others in new online environments, from a digital integrator themselves (a Gen Z):
1.Find a device. A smartphone would be good, if you have one (97% of us do), but a laptop is fine too.
2. Connect to the internet and get online (45% of us are right now).
3. Open up a social media platform. Instagram or Snapchat are some of our favourites (74% and 68% respectively), but Facebook may be your preference if you’re a millennial (87%), Gen Xer (90%) or Baby Boomer (96%).
4. If it’s too slow to load, try something different. If you don’t know how to navigate it, switch to a different app (62% of us would).
5. Send your message through a “DM” (Direct Message) or a “snap” – alternatively, send through a text message. Our generation prefers these to making a call (75% of us agree).
6. If you get a fast response, chat for a while (73% of us name this as our primary activity). If not, move onto something else (our attention span is about 8 seconds!).
7. Other activities you could do involve playing some online games (58% of us do), learn something new (28%) or do some shopping (17%). And if you’re going to shop, scope out social media first for some good products (that’s what 80% of us would do).
8. Spend up to four hours a day engaging in these activities (that’s our average).
9. Make sure you always have the latest technology to communicate with (half of us do).
10.Don’t forget to take your phone with you whenever you go out! It’s more important than your wallet (according to 62% of us!).