Adulthood will, without a doubt, look a drastically different for Generation Z. Being the first generation to grow up with phones in hand and social media just a tap away, Gen Z is going to have to deal with a new kind of adversity in their later years.
According to the Pew Research Center, 70% of teens (comprised of all demographics), report that anxiety and depression are a noticeable problem amongst their friends and acquaintances. Right off the bat, this is a rather alarming statistic— one that is not shared by other generations.
“Mental health struggles, in general, will definitely be a reoccurring issue because we have grown up with social media, which has allowed us to compare ourselves to others on a daily basis,” Sanderson High School sophomore Megan Munn shared. “This has made us think that we need to look and act a certain way, which will certainly cause more mental struggles for Gen Z in the future.”
With Gen Z’s attachment to social media, in-person interaction may be harder to come by in the near future. In the midst of a pandemic, which has forced school and work to operate remotely, one may wonder if Gen Z will need to leave the house for anything.
Agoraphobia: an anxiety disorder that is characterized by the Mayo Clinic as “a type of anxiety disorder in which you fear and avoid places or situations that might cause you to panic and make you feel trapped, helpless or embarrassed.” Considering the success of online businesses like Amazon, along with apps that deliver groceries and meals, this condition could make a surge and affect Gen Z down the line in adulthood, making our generation as a whole more “anti-social.”
“I think when Gen Z becomes adults, social interaction will become rarer as people substitute online communication for in-person interactions,” Gen Z member and Spartan tenth grader Jordan Davis expressed about growing up as a part of a revolutionary generation.
Along with less social interaction, the job market has the potential to look significantly different, as the pursuits of many Gen Zers are different from say Boomers or Millenials. For instance, a Master’s degree in Computer and Information Research Sciences leads to a $126,000 average income, while a 4-year degree in Computer Programming makes for an average income of a near $90,000 a year.
Concerning jobs and social media, generations after millennials may never understand real privacy, considering the amount of information that is accessible on the internet. In this world, a considerable amount about you is on the internet and social media, making true privacy virtually impossible.
If this is the case now, what will life be like in 10 or 15 years? Will personal information become just as easily accessible as common knowledge? In the end, Gen Z will have to adapt to changing circumstances and changing technology. This will make for a completely different life experience that is unlike any Boomer, Gen Xer or even any Millennial.