Gen Z and Misanthropy: It’s Dumb

Misanthropy and a lack of caring about others is on the rise. Is it really grounded in anything, or just embellished?


Misanthropy is defined as a “dislike of humankind”. One tends to see this a lot with people that say things like “humanity is terrible”, “we suck”, “I hate everyone equally”—most people have heard this before. And, to be honest, I can’t fault someone for thinking that. It makes sense, especially in times like these.

There isn’t a whole lot to be happy about right now, with all of the racial tensions, coronavirus, global warming—but that’s no reason to hate everyone on earth equally, as if it’s some sort of blanket defense to safeguard one’s beliefs as to not pin hatred on any one person or group.

There’s plenty of good in the world right now, such as reforesting in eastern Asia, global cooling due to the pandemic, penguin populations are increasing, and more. I think that we should look into it more, rather than assume everyone is some spiteful, self-centered ghoul-person. Remember that these were all possible due to humans. We created an issue but were able to quickly and successfully fix our mistakes.

The healthy age range of Gen Z is 5 to 24. I wanted to test a theory, however—just how many Gen Zs shared this opinion? To find out, I conducted a poll on most of the young people I knew that lived on my street. I asked them the simple question of, “Do you have a generally negative or annoyed outlook on humans?” Here’s my results.

Out of all of the fourteen people, twelve said yes, and two said no. The point is, 87% of the people I asked said that they personally disliked their fellow humans—people they’ve never even met—with a predisposition of negativity.

If one honestly believes that 99% of humans are out to get everyone else, kill each other, poach animals, cause global warming, et cetera, find the 1%. Start the change instead of expecting the “99%” to change themselves.”

I was determined to find more, however. Looking into it further, I discovered that the Pew Research Center conducted a poll themselves in which they asked participants, a survey of young millennials, if they trust other humans positively. The results stated that only 19% trusted other people.

The rise in mistrust of others among millennials and Gen Z is a real cause for concern, which often gets woven into social issues—say, for what happens with younger people. According to the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, their depression rate spiked by 60% from 2009 to 2017.

This is obviously a terrible social issue we should get a handle on quickly, but it’s often used as an excuse among a certain group of misanthropes who exaggerate social issues as a defense for their words or actions, going so far as to use it as an excuse to act snobbish or defeatist, well past the point of normalcy. They often shrug it off with the simple justification of, “Oh well, we’re a terrible species anyway . . .”

Don’t believe me? There’s a whole slew of side effects for doing this. When that 60% of Gen Z (and many others, too) begins to convince themselves that we are, in fact, some evil group of humans out to get the defenseless, we purposely adopt a cynical attitude and it sets in with us—and eventually, any hope we used to have begins to fade. Prolonged misanthropy and depression can lead to high amounts of stress, immune suppression, lack of appetite, and more.

The bottom line is, this really is an epidemic. Not just simply slapping the label of pessimism on something, but collectively allowing it to manifest into mass misanthropy. If you’re a misanthropist and disagree, that’s A-okay. But at the very least, re-evaluate some beliefs and consider that not everyone shares the same greedy or aggressive attitude one often sees in the news.

If one honestly believes that 99% of humans are out to get everyone else, kill each other, poach animals, cause global warming, et cetera, find the 1%. Start the change instead of expecting the “99%” to change themselves. Complaining about the 99% won’t get anyone anywhere, so please be the change. I think we could probably use some of it right now.