I’ve been thinking a lot about what to write, and it’s a bit challenging because I’ve never really written about my family before.
I have two nieces. The elder one, let’s call her X. She’s seven years younger than me. The other one, Lets’ call her Y, is thirteen.
X was born in the early 2000s, which is why we don’t have a much age gap between us. However, it’s fascinating to note that despite the age similarity, she is more emotionally mature than I am.
And as for Y, despite her young age, she’s emotionally little bit mature for her age too.
Now, ever since I had selected the topic, I keenly observed Y for what similarities they have with Gen Z. Until now, the result was zero. But recently, we were discussing something that happened in 2020 before the lockdown. This happened in Y’s school.
She is an ardent footballer, and she had a group of friends who were very active on Instagram. Now, someone posted something mimicking the school on Instagram, and everyone commented. She just liked it. It was seen by the school authorities, and all the students involved—the one who posted, the one who commented, even the one who liked—had their parents called in. Fortunately, Y had always been a good student as well, so she was let go with a warning.
Now she has learned her lesson, and she rarely uses Instagram. She’s preparing for her +2 boards.
My niece, Y’s experience, highlights the challenges that Gen Z faces in the digital age.
Navigating social media can be quite challenging, given the presence of peer pressure, cyberbullying, and the ever-present need for validation. It’s a tricky space to maneuver, and even the most intelligent young individuals like Y can find it tough at times.
We need to understand and teach one thing that emotional wellness is not only about feeling good, it is, when we learn how to save ourselves emotionally.
Sometimes, stepping back from social media and focusing on real-life goals can be the best decision.
So, how can we help Gen Z? I found this answer from my sister and brother-in-law. Although both are very busy, they take out time for them, especially Y. I’ve seen both of them encouraging my nieces to find a healthy balance between the online and offline world.
From what I had learned by observing my own family is that adults should make Gen Z feel welcome. It’s really important to let them know they can always talk to us about internet stuff or if they’re going through tough times. Building trust is key, even if it’s not always simple.
We should also make sure they understand it’s perfectly fine to take breaks and focus on their own well-being.
I truly think that, as a group, we can all help Gen Z with their emotional health, whether they’re online or not. We should teach them that it’s okay to take breaks and look after themselves.
In my opinion, if we team up, we can help Gen Z be happy and healthy, both online and offline.
P.S: I miss our pre-lockdown days when I’d come home during vacations, and Y would take me on a loooong walk. Yes, I had to get her ice cream and chocolate, but those days were beautiful.
Kids truly grow up very fast.