Living Large Online: Gen Zers Think Digital Appearance Is More Important Than Personal

Young consumers are so involved with the web that most believe the way they appear online is more important than how they look in person, according to a study by website-building platform Squarespace.  

Of those polled, 62% of millennials and 60% of Gen Zers feel that online appearance tops personal. In contrast, only 38% of Gen Xers believe that and 29% of baby boomers. 

In fact, 44% of Gen Z and 39% of millennials feel they make a better first impression online than they do in person, versus 21% of Gen X and 8% of boomers. 

Plus, 71% of millennials and 58% of Gen Z will remember the color of a website more than a person’s eye color. 

And, in general, 43% of Gen Zers are likely to remember the last website they visited off the top of their head, compared with 38% who recall their partner’s birthday and 31% their own Social Security number. 



“Americans browse over 3,000 websites a year, and our research shows the things we see online can make a more lasting impression than things we see in person,” states Kinjil Mathur, CMO at Squarespace. 

All this is good news for email marketers — if not for high-end clothiers. Emails that link to a well-designed site and are similar in appearance, are bound to be viewed in the same way, assuming these young people are engaged with email. 

All indications are that they are. 

A recent survey by Jeeng found that almost 80% of Gen Zers check their emails several times a day, and widely prefer email for real-time alerts. Moreover, most will sign up for relevant email newsletters, with 50% saying they subscribe because they are already reading the content on the publisher’s website.   

Newsletters that focus on entrepreneurial best practices are bound to do well, for 92% of Gen Zers want to start their own business, along with 86% of millennials, 74% of Gen Zers and 50% of baby boomers, Squarespace found. 

On average, Americans visit 8.4 websites per day. Of those, 43% spend more time browsing the web than working out and 42% more than having sex in a given week. 

Among Gen Zers, 92% multi-task while browsing the web. They are also likely to be eating food (59%), listening to music (59%), talking on the phone (45%) and dancing (28%)—more than any other generation.  

Where do they likely to be when browsing? For 65%, the top location is in bed, and for 43% in the bathroom. 

Not all browsing can be construed as healthy: 20% of Americans look up their exes online, and 32% their current romantic partner. In addition, 51% of Gen Z and 55% of millennials look up their current partner at least once a week.   

But keep this in mind if you’re setting up a meeting: 85% of Gen Zers and 79% of millennials look people up before meeting them the first time, as do 65% of Gen Xers and 44% of boomers.  

Squarespace partnered with The Harris Poll to survey over 2,000 U.S. adults.




1 comment about "Living Large Online: Gen Zers Think Digital Appearance Is More Important Than Personal".
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  1. Jonathan May from HorseTV Global, July 15, 2021 at 8:46 p.m.

    They seem to forget the person hiring and paying for them is probably a baby boomer, and "digital presence" doesn't say anything about ability.  Gen Zers and millenials, lose again.  Remember, old age and treachery, beats out youth and cunning, every time.

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