How Resilient IS Gen Z?

There’s a lot of talk about resiliency in the context of Gen Z.

In some ways, Gen Z is extremely resilient. I think we often underestimate how truly challenging it is to grow up in a world of 24/7 connectivity and social media. They are the guinea pig generation for the mobile digital technology age and thus they’re having to develop their own version of resilience in a ‘live’ setting.

In I Am Gen Z there is a segment about “anti-fragility” and some of the negative effects of technology and how it is impeding tweens and teens from learning and acquiring coping skills.

This topic is also inextricably tied into the issue of the rise of anxiety in Gen Z. One of the expert commentators in I Am Gen Z, Dr Tracy Dennis-Tiwary has recently published a book, Future Tense, that reframes existing views about anxiety.

In Future Tense, I argue that this pervasive anxiety-as-disease story is false—and it’s harming us. Far from a sickness or malfunction, anxiety is an advantageous emotion that evolved to protect us and strengthen our creative and productive powers.

Tracy Dennis-Tiwary

While I don’t have the psychology and neuroscience training to be able to comment on the science of this, it is clear that we urgently need to do something about the rise in anxiety in Gen Z. But what and how?

In Q&As and panels you’ll hear me saying time and time again that one of the key things we need to be teaching our children is resilience as we prepare them for adulthood and how to handle living in an uncertain world imbued with technology. But I am wondering how we do that? Are the coping mechanisms we learnt, and thus can pass on to them, applicable to today?

When Gen Z are parents and educators they will probably – hopefully – be able to offer generations that come after them better advice because it will have come from their own lived experience, or will they also worry about the resilience of their children?

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