Gen Z: Lazy or Burnt out?

Has technology made us lazy? or is the pressure to succeed more overwhelming than ever before?

Mia Dale
28th November 2022
Image Credits: Pixabay
As part of ‘Gen Z’ myself, I think it’s fair to say that we have all been lectured on how lazy our generation is, whether it’s your parents complaining about how they had to walk miles to school or how they had to work three jobs at once. The growth of technology and media has certainly played a huge role, as we are thrown into a media-driven world from such a young age. This has made many young people lazy, relying on their screen for entertainment rather than getting experience in the workplace. However, research has shown that stress levels are the highest they have ever been in young people, so maybe we are just burnt out…

Academic and workplace stress is currently higher than it has ever been, particularly due to wider concerns such as the cost-of-living crisis and instability of employment. Deloitte’s research “highlights that stress-levels among younger people in the UK are higher than the global average”, identifying that “46% of Gen Zs say they feel stressed or anxious all, or most, of the time”. There is certainly an increased pressure on this generation to progress in higher education, striving for the most intellectual or best-paid jobs … but why? Not everyone is academically driven, which comes as no surprise as the relentlessness of exams is incredibly mentally draining for students, particularly when balancing part-time work alongside them. There is a huge pressure to over-perform and over-achieve, being expected to agree to extra hours at work and continuing work at home – but when do you switch off?  

However, as our older relatives would say … we’re just weak or “too soft”. There is undeniably a collective of people in our generation that lack any drive to pursue their career, relying on their family’s money and avoiding work like the plague. Myself and my friends have always been driven, working a part-time job from a young age and continuing to do so alongside our degrees; we still recognise the importance of saving money and working towards a stable future, so it is certainly unfair to call the whole generation ‘lazy’. Nevertheless, there is undeniably a larger number of young adults who have become lazy, which was highlighted when speaking to my dad: “well we used to have to work and save for years until we could afford a phone or a car. Nowadays school children are being bought them before they are even old enough to work”. There is definitely a lack of motivation and drive in our generation as children grow up expecting things to be given for free, and the media has been particularly complicit in young adults demanding instant gratification or reward. But to counter this again … has this not been fuelled by societal changes out of our control? Technology is developing and new contemporary ways of earning money are arising, so can we blame our generation for this?

I don’t think we can definitely say whether Generation Z are lazy or burnt out. There is certainly a large proportion of our generation who are lazy, enveloped in the world of social media and avoiding the workplace, yet we must consider the difficulties of growing up in a progressive, media-driven world that ultimately lacks any stability. Generation Z are trying to determine their futures whilst navigating the world through a screen and dealing with the academic pressures enforced upon them. So, if any millennials are reading this… I promise we are trying!

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