Is Generation Z partying during this pandemic, or is there something else going on?
Recently the New York Times reported that over 250 cases of the coronavirus could be traced directly back to parties held at fraternities, sororities, and off-campus parties.
The members of the fraternities and sororities and all the colleges and universities are mostly dominated by generation Z. This is the generation born after 1997. They are the youngest generation in the workforce. They account for 25% of the population.
Some of you might be thinking that I am picking on the fraternities and sororities. I’ll be honest with you, I learned a lot from the 1978 film ‘Animal House’, starring John Belushi. My parents took me to see it when I was eight years old.
All these reports in the news lately about the younger generation not social distancing and behaving poorly during this health care crisis may leave us with the impression that the younger generation, generation Z, does not care about COVID 19 and spreading into others. However, research shows that generation Z does care about COVID 19 and how it is impacting them and their family members.
According to Morning Consult, generation Z views the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement as the two most impactful events in their lifetime. Every generation is impacted by the generational signposts. It shapes a generation, and the coronavirus is definitely shaping generation Z!
Every generation has been impacted by this virus. The difference is that generation Z, the youngest generation of the workforce is going to be impacted by it, and living with the effects of it much longer than the other generation.
According to Gen Z Identity Lab, 57% of Gen Z reported that if infected, they were willing to share their location through the use of apps to help track the disease and prevent it from spreading. This was the highest set of all the generations when asked this question. Also in the same study reported that generation Z was taking actions to be careful during the pandemic not just to protect themselves, but also to protect their loved ones.
According to Business Wire, 60% of Gen Z report wearing a face mask at all times while in public, followed closely by millennials at 55%. So while the virus has forced generation Z, just like it’s done to all of us, to delay plans, postpone travel, and miss out on some of life’s big moments, not all of generation Z is going out to party.
In fact, many of them are doing some incredible things to lift us up during this unprecedented time. Zoomers to Boomers began in Los Angeles, California after the pandemic. Teenagers shopped for elderly people or people who had compromised immune systems and it was not safe for them to shop for themselves. Zoomers to Boomers have now spread to several states across the country. It’s a volunteer group helping senior citizens fight social isolation through the use of technology during this crisis.
Remember that from Baby boomers, gen Xers, millennials… Gen Z, out of all the generations, Gen Z is going to live with the fallout from the pandemic the longest and it’s going to be interesting to watch them shape the new world.
Next week, we will talk about the multiple generations and explore the ways we can communicate and connect across generational lines.