Gen Z: Loneliest Generation?

Is it harder for Gen. Z to socialize because of increased dependence on technology or a growing concern for future success? Regardless, social skills are essential and should be prioritized.



My mother could make friends with anyone, anywhere; but when it comes to me, I don’t even know how to start a conversation. In this day in age, it is more difficult for young people to interact with others face to face. What causes this inability to socialize? Is it the result of our growing dependence on technology? Is it caused by our generation’s concern for the future? Are we spending so much time focusing on our individual goals that we don’t see the people around us? 

Before these questions can be answered, it is important to understand social skills and the role they play in society. Social skills are defined as a person’s ability to work with others in a way that strengthens long-term relationships. Successful social skills require us to monitor our own actions so that they reflect our concern and respect for others.  

It is also essential for us to voice our needs and concerns in a way that causes others to relate. Our ability to relate with others helps us to realize our own goals and enables us to help others around us. 

Every aspect of our lives requires us to have successful relationships with others. Consider all the things we do in a lifetime. Within our family, we need to form bonds and lasting relationships. Attending school requires us to work with others and convey our own thoughts and ideas in meaningful ways. 

At work, we may find that we are required to function successfully within a department, not only relating to coworkers, but supervisors as well. Going out in public forces us to interact with a variety of people in a multitude of situations. Considering this information, it is clear that social skills are essential for life in general and our future success. 

Even though we interact face to face with our families and those at school, it seems easier for our generation to interact through technology. We have grown up with everything at our fingertips, whether it be cell phones, internet access, email, text, etc. There are so many ways to interact with people without directly speaking to them. 

Because of this, our generation’s tendency is to avoid face to face interactions in favor of using technology. Many young people, including myself, feel uncomfortable making phone calls, approaching someone to ask for help, and talking to superiors. 

There is so much more information out there for our generation to learn. Because of technological advances, we have more subjects to learn about in school. The requirements for colleges are more rigorous and demanding than ever before. We are left with very little time to ourselves, and as a result, very little time to socialize with others. This is just one reason to our inability to socialize with those around us. 

Our ability to relate with others helps us to realize our own goals and enables us to help others around us. ”

In order for our individual goals to be met, we need to spend more time getting advanced degrees and building up experience so that we stand out from all others. A college degree is so common now that employers are becoming more selective and have the luxury to wait for the perfect individual to fill the position.  Showing more refined social skills in an interview could be the difference between rejection and an offer for the position.

With time constraints, increased dependence on technology and a growing concern for future success, it is clear that our generation spends less time interacting face to face.  So then, is it any wonder we are awkward in many social situations?  

Even so, gaining the social skills we are so sorely missing may not be as difficult as we think.  As I watch my mom strike up a conversation with the person behind us in line at the grocery store, I am learning strategies and getting ideas on how to improve my own social skills.  Now all I really need is to build my confidence and move beyond my own comfort zone.