Data

Is Gen Z fearful of the increasingly digital age?

June 6, 2019
Emily Coughlin

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

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