In the face of current situations, GenZ is slowly getting desensitised to violence and crime. GenZ gradually normalises events that would otherwise be traumatic with jokes and satire.
With the boom of technology and social media, the current generations have access to information much quicker than before. The generation is on the path to being desensitised towards violence.
Throughout history, the numbness and desensitisation of individuals towards certain subjects has been apparent. Each generation has gone through a series of absurd events, resulting in the normalisation of those events.
The younger generations of the 2000s– GenZ and millennials, seem to be on the same path as the others. This desensitisation can be linked to the advent of social media and social networking websites. GenZ is pumped with a vast amount of information on a daily basis through social media. Some of this information isn’t always an innocent cat video.
GenZ and Social Media.
Access to technology and media has been freely available to GenZ since their early childhood. Constant violence in real life being relayed on screens has reduced the absurdity of the events. Slowly normalising behaviours that aren’t meant to be.
According to research, the link between violence in media and the desensitisation of the viewer can be found even in the 1970s. A study published by Margaret Hanratty Thomas suggested that people exposed to violent media respond to violence in real life in a slightly decreased manner.
Likewise, the same can be applied to GenZ. Hoards of graphic and violent images float around on the internet for anyone and everyone to easily access. With the crime rates steadily rising, constant political unrest and religious turmoil; the youth of the age is consumed with overwhelming amounts of knowledge. Knowledge which has then turned into the fact of life and normalised.
In order to cope with their disposition, GenZ has often resorted to humour. The central characteristic of this generation is the ability to make a joke about everything. The humour is often dark, self depreciative and extremely satirical of political scenarios and just all aspects of life. This satirisation of circumstances has turned into a significant GenZ culture. GenZ uses memes and jokes to spread information that should otherwise be troubling. The generation copes with their many misfortunes through laughter.
The use of humour allows events happening to be absorbed in a much easier fashion. However, the anxiety of this generation still is not lost. GenZ is seemingly a generation that constantly addresses anxiety. The amount of “bad” news being consumed has unknowingly created an anxious generation. The anxiety of troubling events like climate change, religious violence are somethings that even humour cannot mask.
Gen Z and activism.
Despite being numb to violence and turmoil, this generation is still among one of the most vocal ones. Pushing through the hopelessness of current scenarios, the generation still voices out against issues they care about. Persistently and ironically, social media has helped in the voicing of opinions. GenZ takes to social media activism in an attempt to express and at least be heard.
Twitter and Instagram are one of the leading platforms used to express dissent. Tools that were not available to older generations, have made it easier for this one to be more involved. Cyclically, however, it is also these platforms that add to the anxiety and desensitisation of a generation of young minds.
GenZ continues to cope with the bizarre life events like the Covid19 Pandemic, terror attacks, school shootings even religious extremists. But, even through the desensitisation of violence and crime, the generation continually prioritises expression and free speech.