8 Ways Gen Z Uses Tech at Pitt | Information Technology | University of Pittsburgh

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8 Ways Gen Z Uses Tech at Pitt

Gen Z is weaving a complex and dynamic tapestry of technology use that looks quite different than those who came before us. While older generations might see us as the “smartphone generation,” there’s so much more to our digital world than meets the eye. So, buckle up as we take you on a journey into the tech-savvy minds of Gen Z and what we wish you knew about our relationship with technology.

  1. Tech as an Extension of Self:

For us, technology is not just a tool; it’s an extension of who we are. Our devices are like personal assistants, helping us navigate the complexities of modern life. From expressing our identity on social media to creating playlists that define our mood, technology is an integral part of our self-expression.

  1. Real-Time Communication:

When it comes to communicating with others, email is the last thing we use. It is not that we don’t use email, but we prefer to use social media or text messages to communicate quickly and in real time. In a group project, rather than email, we instead communicate with group members via group chat.

If you do reach out to students via email, keep them short. If you don’t get to the point and tell us what we need to do in the first couple of sentences, then all we see are paragraphs of text and we simply won’t finish reading the email. Into the Trash folder it goes. Students receive dozens of emails a day from Pitt, many of which are not related to what we are doing. Please keep in mind that we are busy too, so just spit it out!

  1. Online Lectures Are an Important Resource:

Students face a plethora of responsibilities outside of school, whether it be family responsibilities, internships, extracurriculars, or working a part-time job. As a result, sometimes we just aren’t able to attend a class in person on a particular day. Attending classes online is not always a sign of laziness, but rather a way for us to attend class when we have to miss a session. We also like watching recorded class lectures in order to rewatch material we didn’t understand during class, fill in our class notes when we couldn’t write/type fast enough, and review class materials in preparation for an exam.

  1. It’s Time to Go Paperless:

When it comes to our assignments, due dates, handouts, and textbooks, we students like to keep our work in one place. Whether it be on a laptop or tablet, we like to access our schoolwork digitally. Handouts are easy to lose anyway, so why not just have them all available for access on Canvas? Not only will this save us from an overflowing backpack full of papers from multiple classes, but it’ll also reduce our chances of losing our assignments. Additionally, having digital copies available on Canvas is a great way for students to review and prepare for exams or upcoming class discussions!

  1. Digital Activism and Awareness:

We’re not just scrolling through memes and viral videos; we’re actively engaging in digital activism. Social media is a powerful platform for us to raise awareness about social issues, champion causes, and foster a sense of community. From climate change to social justice, technology empowers us to amplify our voices and mobilize for change.

  1. Mental Health in the Digital Age:

More than half (51.9%) of college students feel lonely despite being on social media. And contrary to popular belief, we’re aware of the impact of technology on mental health. Our generation grapples with the pressure of online validation, cyberbullying, and the addictive nature of social media. It’s essential to understand that our relationship with technology is complex, and we’re constantly navigating the fine line between connection and the need for a digital detox.

  1. Creativity Unleashed:

In the vast digital landscape, creativity knows no bounds. From crafting captivating TikTok videos to designing digital art, Gen Z is redefining what it means to be creative. Technology serves as our canvas, allowing us to explore, innovate, and share our unique perspectives with the world. AI is accelerating that trend, as we can get a little hand in making images.

  1. Constant Evolution of Digital Trends:

We're not just keeping up with technology trends; we're setting them. Gen Z is at the forefront of digital evolution, from embracing new social media platforms to creating and consuming innovative content. It's a fast-paced world and staying in the loop is not just a choice, but a necessity for us.

Overall, in the digital realm, Gen Z is sculpting a future where technology is not just a resource, but is a reflection of our identity, creativity, and activism. It's crucial to understand the multifaceted nature of our relationship with technology, acknowledging both the opportunities and challenges it presents. So, let's bridge the generation gap and embark on a journey together through the ever-expanding universe of technology, where every click, swipe, and share is a brushstroke on our digital canvas.

-- By Haree Lim, Pitt IT Student Blogger