Gen Z lacks empathy

Coping mechanisms needs adjustment


Cece Jensen

Gen Z has a history of not taking heavy topics seriously. Some might say that the generation as a whole is desensitized to such things. This desensitization can be attributed to none other than social media. Kids today will often receive their first smartphone before the age of 10 and considering the fact that Gen Z is constantly immersed in social media, these young children are being exposed to the harsh and disrespectful humor of teens. Being so unsheltered to the conflicts of the world leads children and teens of Gen Z to become used to hearing about such bad news. 

When confronted with global conflicts, it is common for people to feel anxious or scared for what might come. Gen Z, on the other hand, tends to make memes or Tik Tok videos making fun of the situation at hand. Using the current Russia-Ukraine conflict as an example, there have been countless jokes made on social media about World War III and getting drafted. Rather than offering any kind of support or help to the people affected by this conflict, Gen Z found a way to make it about themselves and use humor in a time of crisis. 

Going through COVID-19 at a considerably young age gave rise to a loss of empathy and contributed to an ignorant attitude toward many worldly conflicts. This attitude leads to insensitive remarks and inappropriate jokes at the expense of others. What some may argue is “just a joke” or “not a big deal” can be very hurtful and disrespectful to many people. The reasoning behind these cruel comments is that Gen Z is using humor as a coping mechanism. Emotions that could otherwise be dealt with in a healthy manner are instead being expressed through comedy. This dark humor provides a distraction and an outlet for pent up emotions. 

While these jokes are not meant to directly offend anyone, they can still come off as very insensitive. Teens need to find a way to be more empathetic to those going through hard times and offer more support. Looking at the harsh realities of the world through a comical lens is easier to face than reflecting upon and analyzing these tendencies and encouraging growth for oneself and the entirety of Gen Z. This lack of sympathy and compassion is not the right response to topics such as the Russia-Ukraine conflictit is important to not take the humor too far.