What's the Real Cost of Living Online?

Gen Z & Millennials are poor communicators

Is Gen Z great at online conversations but not-so-great at in-person conversations? 🤔

Call it an occupational hazard, but while spending the weekend with my 17-year-old cousin, I asked HER what Gen Z struggles with.

"I don't know if it's me or people my age, we simply cannot have conversations when we meet. These are my friends who I talk to on Instagram or Snapchat for hours daily but when we meet, there's absolutely nothing to talk about," she said.

Owing to the pandemic and growing on the internet, has Gen Z (and, to a certain extent, millennials) become too uncomfortable with human interaction?

“I don’t feel very confident communicating with my friends in person or when I bump into old friends. I prefer walking away without an eye contact or avoiding them altogether. And you know what? I've seen my friends do just that.” She adds. When asked if she has met them after months or years, she says, “no, we chat on Instagram every night.”

This brings us to the conversation: What's the real cost of living online? 🤐

According to Thrive My Way, an average Gen Z person spends over 8 hours online, and about 98% of Gen Z representations use a smartphone. The same report states 👇

Talking About MrBeast

Quite early in 2022, I remember having mixed feelings when I read the Rolling Stones feature on MrBeast. The title itself said, ‘Is MrBeast for Real?’

While the feature discusses the rise and only the rise of MrBeast (or Jimmy Donaldson), it talks about the dark side of his empire, involving poor work culture and communication problems.

Check out the entire feature here. 👇

Simon Sinek Has a Thing to Say

It’s not just Gen Z, it’s also millennials, says Simon Sinek. 🤷‍♀️

He says we aren’t invested in learning interpersonal skills or communication, and believe me when I say he sounds harsh as he says this.

The digital world is changing rapidly — we no longer sign up for effective communication courses; today, there are courses like ‘How to Create Viral Content’ or ‘How to Quickly Get Famous on TikTok’. Whether you create or consume digital content, chances are you struggle with information overload or burnouts.

Is There No Escape?

“Simply put, humans are not wired to be constantly wired.”― Cal Newport

Author and computer science professor Cal Newport wrote in his book Digital Minimalism: Face-to-face conversation is the most human--and humanizing--thing we do. Fully present to one another, we learn to listen. It's where we develop the capacity for empathy. It's where we experience the joy of being heard, of being understood.

A cursory search on Gen Z communication styles on Twitter will show you how Gen Z is trolled for their communication style. 👇

Gen Z has a different take. 👇

It's beyond obvious that living online comes at a cost, and the price tag involves paying with our mental health. In the words of a friend: my work involves being online all the time, so I put my phone aside and step into the sun when I can. Believe me, it changes everything.

But is it fair to blame Gen Z and millennials for how the world is currently wired?

What do you think about it? What do you think is the real cost of living online? Drop your comments below and start a conversation with us.

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