Gen Z Is Looking for a Break From Their Phones

A recent report from Squarespace, the website building and e-commerce platform, looked at multiple generations to understand today’s digital habits and sentiments.

Surprisingly, the study, which surveyed 1,000 people each in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Australia, found that half of Generation Z is interested in disconnecting from their smartphones, compared to just 20 percent of Baby Boomers. Still, 70 percent of Generation Z said the flexibility aspect of access to the internet on the phone outweighs the downside of always being accessible — a sentiment shared by more than 60 percent of all survey respondents.

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The main reason why people have a digital presence is to stay connected. Fifty-three percent of people who responded to the survey said their main reason for being online is staying connected or sharing their lives with their family and friends.

Every generation stated that their earliest memory of the internet is email. Other top memories across the generations include floppy disks, dial-up signals, chatrooms and social media. Social media is 39 percent of Generation Z’s earliest memory, with 34 percent noting online gaming as theirs.

Notably, one of the key things people have said is that shopping has improved the most on the internet over the last 20 years. More than half of Generation Z and Millennials state that they will look to websites as a source for fashion advice and product recommendations over social media. This is in contrast to a previous WWD report which found that 43 percent of Gen Z open TikTok first for product searches online.

Overall, the report found that people are still more trusting of websites over social media. Survey respondents stated that they are five times more likely to seek out new information on the general internet as opposed to what they see on social media.

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