Gen Z, along with the rest of the world, is in the throes of a global pandemic. We’re taking a look at a few of the ways they’re dealing with it.
Besides just our collective health, Coronavirus is wreaking havoc on all fronts: emotionally, logistically, and most certainly, financially.
In the U.S., although a pandemic was just officially declared the second week of March, the virus has already caused some populations to tighten their financial belts. Surprisingly, among Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millenials and Gen Z, the youngest are the most financially cautious.
A survey by First Insight found that, at 73%, Gen Z is the generation that’s most worried about the spread of Coronavirus (only 61% of Millenials are worried about the virus spreading). When it comes to cutting back on spending in preparation for the Coronavirus, 41% of Gen Z already are. This is in sharp contrast to only 23% of Baby Boomers and 36% of Gen X (Millennials clock in at 40%).
Spending and purchasing decisions aren’t the only ways Gen Z is responding to the pandemic. Here are a few more.
Dating. As many parts of the world—most recently, the U.S.— are under orders to shelter-in-place, socializing and specifically, dating, will look and feel quite different. Staying at home all day can get lonely. Dating app usage will no doubt be on overdrive, with increased swiping, matching, chatting, texting and even video calls.
Cases of the virus and guidelines are changing quickly, but results from a survey the dating app OkCupid, released on March 10, revealed that worldwide, 88% of people are still dating as usual. The number is even higher in the U.S., where 92% of Americans have continued to date as normal.
In Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, 91% of OKCupid users are still willing to go out on a date. And in places like Denver, even after the governor’s state of emergency declaration, 97 percent of respondents say they are still willing to go out on dates.
“From March 12–22, Bumble recorded a 21% increase in sent messages in Seattle, a 23% increase in New York City and a 26% increase in San Francisco.” -- CNBC.com
In Italy, where the entire country is locked down, fewer than half of OkCupid users said they're dating as usual. The dating app said 45 percent of Italian users said they're still dating.
As rapidly as conditions are changing, especially in the U.S., we can expect there will be fewer and fewer opportunities to ‘Netflix and Chill.’
Travel. But in the meantime, there’s Spring Break, which, as of just hours ago (on March 17), was pretty much cancelled. In Florida, the unofficial Spring Break destination for American college students, the governor has banned gatherings of more than 10 people on the state’s beaches and mandated that, for at least the next 30 days, bars and nightclubs are closed.
For Gen Zers who don’t want to abandon spring break, they can still go to the ocean (as long as they’re not in Miami Beach or Ft. Lauderdale where beaches are officially closed). They just have to observe six feet of distancing.
Self care. In these anxious times, Gen Z is more focused on self care than usual. Whether that’s finding solace in meditating, or direction by way of the Zodiac, Zers are tapping into ways to destress.
Check social media, and you’ll find images of Gen Z showing how they’re coping: stress-baking, doing yoga, journaling, crafting, enjoying beauty regimens like face masks and trying intense makeup applications and manicures or reporting how they’re putting down their devices and disconnecting — not just by physical, social distancing but actual IRL distancing—if only for a while.
These times are unchartered for us all—personally and professionally. As businesses, we can offer a reassuring message and hand to customers, each other and ourselves. Gen Z won’t be the only ones to remember when the crisis passes, we all will.