OMD Malaysia, in partnership with Media Prima Group and Epinion, unveils a landmark study into the Generation Z’s behaviour, attitudes and media habits.
The survey, conducted among 325 online respondents aged 13 to 21, takes a look at Gen Z in Malaysia. Representing a sizeable population of 9.06 million in Malaysia, Gen Z is the first of generation gaps to be exposed to the World Wide Web since young.
Aside from being distinctly tech-savvy, the line between the digital and physical worlds are starting to blur, according to OMD Malaysia managing director Margaret Lim.
“It’s vital for us to remember that Gen Z doesn’t distinguish between a digital world and a physical world, they simply blend into one. Whereas Gen X or Y may have looked to physical human interaction and human connection to validate their behaviour, Gen Z looks mainly to their online world.
“It’s through this world that their behaviour and personalities are being defined,” she says.
Among the highlights of this survey are:
> 52% of Gen Z prefer to express their feelings via stickers/emoticons/emojis;
> Gen Z use an average of 3.75 social networks per week;
> 91% follow brands on social media; > 49% say they cannot live without a Bachelor’s Degree, and 41% say they cannot live without a Master’s Degree; and
> 31% say their main source of information is from TV and 37% say their main source of entertainment is from TV.
Based on the research findings of this study, eight key themes are:
Digitally popular, physically awkward
Findings showed that Gen Z enjoys staying at home with family and simply just being online. They also feel most comfortable talking to their friends via chat apps than face to face.
Mobile is their life line
Almost all own a mobile phone, including 79% of those aged 13 to 15. The mobile has become an extension of the person, a body part of Gen Z and a gateway to the rest of the world.
Being so exposed to the social network and seeing their Gen X and Y predecessors fall for false news and rumors, Gen Z is more cynical about information disguised as news on social networks; causing them to be more skeptical of news and information on the internet world.
Approximately 89% feel uncomfortable sharing their personal issues online, it is likely they have again taken learnings from their Gen X and Y predecessors and learnt NOT to become the victims of cybercrime.
Thanks to the access to information and increasing awareness of social issues, Gen Z is concerned about social issues and wish to make a difference! The top concerns are “recycling and the environment”, “online privacy” and “freedom of speech”. “Social policing”, namely standing up for injustice or support a cause on social media, is common among Gen Z.
Perpetual childhood syndrome
Gen Z enjoys more time and money spent on them from their Gen X parents. 64% of Gen Z admits that they live better lives than their parents did and as a result are close to their parents.
Smart and in the know
Undoubtedly, Gen Z has been well-equipped with knowledge from the internet and technology. Despite being young, their opinions are trusted by the family when it comes to decision making for household purchases.
Gen Z lists TV as a main source of news and current affairs, as well as main source of entertainment (not internet!), but we must remember that they go where the content is.
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