Zoomers, or members of the Gen-Z generation, spend a whopping 5.9 hours on their phones everyday, beating out millennials by a significant margin. Around half of them also used multiple devices at once, with the average number of devices standing at 1.8. The figures may seem worrisome when it comes to learning key social skills, but research indicates that ubiquitous connectivity is far from an impediment for Gen-A when it comes to socialization. In fact, if you were to ask various people from this age group what they most use their phones or laptops for, their answer would probably be unanimous: connection.
The Social Benefits of Gaming
For the vast majority of Gen-Z gamers, one of the most motivating elements of gaming, is the ability to connect with both real-life and online friends. Around 87 per cent of Zoomers play video games on devices like smartphones and computers at least weekly, with many forming part of lively gaming groups. They go online because they are searching for a sense of belonging within their hyper-digital reality. In the company of friends, they can relax, have a good laugh, and free themselves from everyday stressors. Gen-Zers also feel more comfortable interacting with others using avatars or virtual identities. As was evident in the film Ready Player One, the virtual world can enable players to express life skills like confidence, risk-taking, and teamwork, and these skills can later be transferred to real life.
Zoomers see online games and social media as a way to share information on everything from series to current affairs and gaming. For instance, those into casino gaming have a plethora of sites and apps to choose from. A trusted friend is an excellent means through which they can find the best online casino; one that has useful features as well as a reputation for safety and security. A study by researchers from the University of Minnesota has found that social networking sites also have useful educational benefits. Through these sites and apps, Zoomers aged 16 to 18 are practising the kind of 21st-century skills that guarantee success. In the company of their classmates and friends, they are learning to have a positive attitude towards technology, edit and customize content, and think about creative aspects such as design and layout. They are also sharing creative work (including poetry and videos) with their online friends, and learning to use technology safely and responsibly.
Gen-Z Still Connect Offline
In-person connection is vital because it teaches vital skills like active listening and how to read and use the right body language. The good news for Zoomers is that research shows that they aren’t missing out on offline meet-ups. In fact, most show a healthy split of how they like to connect, with a little over half preferring to maintain social relationships with friends online, and the rest preferring in-person interactions.
Gen-Z spends various online, but the reasons are not simply entertainment and the chance to play games, but also the vital connections they build, both with old and new friends. Zoomers benefit in many ways from the online universe, de-stressing and enjoying the sensation of being part of a community. They are also using the online experience to share ideas and intellectual and creative information, without losing their interest in meeting up with friends in person.