#Unplugged

Trends / Technology
Roo Lewis
1093658100
Maxine Ihezie
Aug 28, 2020
Gen Z and Millennial’s are scrolling, swiping and double tapping their way towards reduced self‑esteem. According our ongoing Visual GPS Research, Gen Z and Millennial's are nearly 3x more likely than older generations to say that spending time on social media sites often make them feel like their lives aren’t as great as others. As social media consumption grows, so do the numbers of hyper‑visible young people with seemingly ‘perfect’ online lives. As brands increasingly target younger consumers, what kind of visuals should they use that will resonate best?

According to the Global Web Index, Millennial’s and Gen Z‑ers spend an average of 2.5–3 hours a day on social media and with Covid‑19 usage has surged. As the most digitally connected generation, it comes as no surprise that young people feel overwhelmed by manufactured portrayals of perfection. Popular social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook offer copious opportunities for comparison where, for some, flawless and flashy lead to followers and luxury lifestyles to likes.
"Popular social media platforms....offer copious opportunities for comparison where, for some, flawless and flashy lead to followers and luxury lifestyles to likes."
In the last 12 months, customer searches for ‘digital detox’ trended significantly above expected, suggesting that customers are looking for ways to demonstrate how consumers switch off. Disconnecting from the pings and rings of social media is often prescribed as a form of self‑care, especially at a time where Covid‑19 has increased our screen times
As we visualise technology and the value that social media offers young people, it is important to remember that as a force with such dynamic tension, there are downsides. Visuals should reflect the ways that young people live full lives where vanity metrics and online validation do not determine self‑worth. Show Gen Z and Millennial’s learning new skills, engaging in hobbies such as painting or sharing real moments with family and friends. To put it simply, making technology incidental as opposed to the core of young people’s personal fulfillment is key.

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