Is Gen Z fearful of the increasingly digital age?

June 6, 2019
Emily Coughlin
About this data source:

KnowledgeHound has teamed up with True Public to provide you a new, and completely free, way to explore the opinions, attitudes, and habits of Gen Z. TruePublic, a popular app among Generation Z, provides users a place to express their anonymous, honest opinions about any and all things ranging from political preferences to their favorite sneaker brands. In an effort to organize and draw conclusions from the plethora of rich data TruePublic has gathered, we’ve loaded the data into KnowledgeHound and will be publishing our findings regularly as we uncover them.

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It’s not breaking news that Gen Z is fluent in technology. Much to our surprise, though, these so called “Digital Natives” may not be as comfortable with technology as we assumed. In fact, when compared to Millennials on topics like self-flying planes and gene editing, Gen Z tended to align more closely with Baby Boomers' responses. Begging the question in our minds - is Gen Z fearful of the increasingly digital age?

Robots? No Thanks.

Gen Z is not game for a future run by robots, based on results from TruePublic data. According to Pew Research Center’s “Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015, Ages 13-17,” about a quarter of Gen Zers are online “all the time.” They send and receive over 67 texts every day (this figure is for SMS texts and does not include other IM services, such as Snapchat or Facebook Messenger). Regardless of the fact that technology is second nature to them, though, they still are less inclined to be accepting of some more cutting-edge technologies than Millennials are. 

When polled, “What is your general feeling towards robots being used to help raise children?” Millennials and Gen Z were in agreement overall. However, Gen Z’s positive response came in at a 20% which was significantly lower compared to Millennials’ positive response rate of 35.7%. In fact, the most closely aligned generation with Gen Z was the Baby Boomers. And this isn’t the only example of Gen Z expressing more concern towards a robot takeover than Millennials.

Again, when asked, “What better describes how you feel about self-driving cars?," 54% of Millennials responded they are excited about self-driving cars compared to only 39.7% of Gen Zers. Similar to the Baby Boomer response, the majority of the youngest generation is worried about self-driving cars.

As for self-flying planes - don’t even think about it. 69.4% of Gen Z responded that they are worried/terrified, coming in as much less comfortable with the idea than Millennials who responded more favorably, with only 55% being worried/terrified and 45% being excited.

Thoughts Towards Gene Editing

While gene editing and posting to Instagram don’t exactly go hand in hand, both do have one thing in common - your grandparents are confused by them. As the younger, most advanced generation, one might make the assumption that Gen Z is more comfortable with the idea of gene editing, growing up closer to its potential reality. 

The numbers don’t lie, though- Gen Z is significantly more cautious feeling towards gene editing than their older (but equally as cool IMHO 💁) counterparts sitting in Camp Millennial. When asked, “What is your general feeling about the future potential of gene editing?,” 50% of Gen Zers surveryed responded that they are cautious/terrified towards the matter. In comparison to Millennials, Gen Z shows more distaste for the science. The highest response rate to excited/curious came from Millennials at 57%

There’s Much More Where That Came From

I could write a few more pages on interesting bits uncovered from TruePublic data but you’re probably eager to explore for yourself. So here’s a better idea. KnowledgeHound and TruePublic are thrilled to share with you thousands of survey questions in various study categories like Relationships, Money & Work, and Lifestyle. Register for your free sneak peek here and find out how you can gain access to even more information via our portal for smart data discovery today!

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