Gen Z Revealed: Part 4

Justin Daab Customer & Market Insights, Customer Experience Design

Social Media and News Sources

Gen Z (born between 1994-2014) is now the single largest population segment and comprises 48% of the total media audience. But perhaps more relevant than the increase viewership they represent, is the dramatic shift in the way they view the world when compared to previous generations. As mentioned in our first blog post about Generation Z, we surveyed 500 Gen Z members (18-24), from across the United States, to understand just what they think about the state of the world, and their place in it, as they emerge into full adulthood.

In this fourth installment in our Gen Z Revealed series, we look how growing up in the age of social media affects their approach to finding new friends, news and truth.

There’s no wrong way to meet new friends

There appears to be a fairly even distribution of ways Generation Z members typically meet new people. While it merits further exploration, it’s possible that the dip in responses around “extracurricular activities” may be due to those activities being connected to, or involving, a subset of people they have already met through work, school or friends.

Where do you typically meet new people?

Social media is the primary, if not the most trusted, source for news

We asked respondents to tell us what sources for news/current events were most trustworthy and only ~23% chose social media. But more than 60% still cite social media as their primary source for that information. This could mean that this generation feels it has the media savvy to evaluate and sift through the fake news, to get to more verified information, effectively enough as not to worry about the overall quality. Or, they could be simply defaulting to convenience.

What is the most trustworthy source for current events/ news?

Where do you most frequently get your news or information on current events?

They don’t share much on social. And when they do, it isn’t highly representative.

Only 14% of our respondents report sharing daily events on social media, reinforcing their usage of social as more of a news source than an integrated publishing platform for their day-to-day lives.

And, as such, it’s not surprising then that when we asked if they felt their social media presence was an accurate reflection of who they are as people, they indicated that it did not. That’s less likely an indication that they are presenting an inaccurate or glorified version of themselves on social media (as Millennials have been accused) than it is an indication that they perceive themselves as not presenting any version of themselves on social media channels.

How much of your life do you share on social media?

How accurately does your social media presence (profiles and feeds) reflect who you are in real life?

Documenting the stories of a new generation

As we continue to delve into the results of our survey, we will begin to build out more detailed personas. Within the next few weeks, we will be compiling, finalizing and publishing our report with more detailed analysis of the data and creating more three-dimensional personas we hope will provide an accessible face to the numbers. If you’re already a subscriber, watch your email for announcements. If not, you can watch the blog for updates.

Want to learn more about Gen Z?

The Coming of Age of Generation Z: Full Report

Gen Z Revealed: Part 1 Device Usage

Gen Z Revealed: Part 2 Milestones

Gen Z Revealed: Part 3 Threats, Opportunities, and Careers


Magnani is an experience design and strategy firm that crafts transformational digital experiences to delight users and deliver sustainable competitive market advantages for our clients.


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