Despite images of young people partying on beaches and dismissing social distancing recommendations, a new survey from Vice Media Group finds 87% of Millennials and Gen Zers feel they are doing everything they personally can to limit the spread of COVID-19. And 28% believe others are not proactively doing what it takes to limit the spread of the virus.
According to the survey nearly half (47%) have increased their amount of social media usage and 22% have hosted or joined a virtual hangout. The study (“Youth in Pandemic: Hopes and Fears for an Uncertain Future”) purports to reveal the ways young people are feeling and behaving during this pandemic.
About one in six (15%) have created a new group chat or chain.
As for their entertainment habits, 28% have participated in online gaming, 14% downloaded a new social media app, 14% subscribed to a new streaming service and 13% have attended a virtual concert or event.
For COVID-19 information, 90% are relying on government organizations such as WHO, 58% on national leaders and 53% on local leaders.
Respondents also express interest in actionable content. More than four in 10 (43%) want tips centered around “what to do,” 48% seek uplifting or comic-relief content and 46% want non-COVID-19 articles.
Millennials in the prime of their careers worry more about economic impact, whereas Gen Zers, in their social prime, express more fear about mental health and relationships.
The younger generation is also more likely to claim the media causes them anxiety and stress compared to Millennials and Gen Xers.
The health crisis appears to be driving some positive behavioral changes. For example, more than one in four (27%) have improved their sleep habits and similar percentages have started a new exercise program (26%) or self-care routine (24%). One in 10 respondents (12%) has added or increased a meditation practice.
The study was conducted by Vice Media Group’s Information Desk that surveyed 9,360 respondents across 30 countries.