stating the obvious: the internet has, in a way, crippled the social skills of gen Zs (and a bunch of gen Ys)

if you feel slighted by a gen Z or gen Y-er, read this post and then think again.

you can take a perfectly nice, “normal” and suitable individual in real life and then put them behind a phone or a computer and poof — where did that person even go?

I’m totally dating myself in this post, but the topic is definitely fascinating to me because of how quickly the internet and social media has seemed to transform humans/human values/ and definitely also dating for the Y and Z generations. I’m dating myself because I didn’t use the internet until high school, and it wasn’t even on the regular or anywhere close to it. so what did I do? I socialized. I SOCIALIZED. without a phone. face to face. also often for hours a clip over the landline telephone. no hiding and not much room for insinuations. with the only cameras being those yellow kodak ones that need to be developed at a CVS. do they even do that anymore? my first boyfriend had to call me, then pick me up at my house and actually interact with my parents. then we had to interact with each other and no distractions for hours. there were no distractions, it felt nerve-wracking always on these dates, but it was real living.

so by virtue of the fact that in my formative years the only way I could interact with another human and vice versa was usually in person, there are certain skills that came naturally to me later in life. like…being a cohesive human being. which to me, means being/doing/saying exactly what I am being/doing/saying — IRL as texts would suggest. for you old people out there it means “in real life”. but a lot of gen X and gen Y-ers are not living IRL at all. they have one personality IRL, and another personality entirely for their internet/social media/phone personas. it’s absolutely fascinating to me. I feel like I sound really, really old right now.

I was speaking about this the other night with someone who works for me. he is mid-30s. I had been messaging a younger human, a gen Z-er, that night. I found him to be a shiny penny, as I like to call it, out in the real world. and when I see a shiny penny, I pick it up. not for any other reason than to learn more about them. it doesn’t matter who they are or what they look like. the shiny penny aspect calls to me nonetheless. because they are rare. the person who works for me told me that these people (gen Z-ers) often live out an entirely different life over the internet ethers. I was like “what does that even mean!?”. then, I received some totally random messages from this gen Z-er that I didn’t expect not for a moment. it was like a totally different person than I had first seen or thought I was communicating with! and then I thought retroactively about it and it made perfect sense! every single person I have been friends with, dated or worked with born post 1990 literally has two distinct sides to them (their human side, and their internet side) — and I’m not sure they even know it. the specific notion of these two different sides, outline somewhat above, is totally different from any other variance in human behavior that I can explain as I find consistently it does NOT apply to people a decade or two older than them.

I’ve been studying this phenomenon because I am naturally drawn to young energy — especially through my work. so many of these fantastic people I see are little geniuses waiting to explode their mark on the world, while also visibly combating this strange relationship with 5d internet. they came into this physical world with a completely different set of rules and experiences regarding communication on that front, so we can see where there is no placebo effect at all — just a black and white set of difference because the common denominator is internet/social media/phone. I notice one main constant that attracts me to them, and them to me: because of the amount of information they have been exposed to since they could walk and read, they have had many wells of old soul knowledge ripped open and filled at a drastic pace (I had no opportunity for that when I was young, most of us did not, and we only missed it by a few crucial years to be honest) they are super informed, knowledgeable, creative and old souls. I love this part of them. it’s like retroactively exploring a part of myself that I never had the chance to know years ago. and I am both young enough AND old enough to have lived through and integrated the amount of information that they have been bombarded and downloaded with for that last two decades or so of their lives. the later part becomes the common denominator: information — but from two totally different realms of experience. it becomes an interesting match, as we fill in blanks for one another. it is a particularly interesting dynamic through my work. and on one hand these individuals seem SO OLD to me — because of this constant wealth of info they have been exposed to. YET, they have not had the time to integrate it at all. and therein I believe lies this temporary “split”, if you will, of self. they are managing, on a minute to minute basis, all of the info they were programmed at birth to unwittingly digest. this is so different for those of us who actually developed ourselves solely on human interaction and maybe some movies and video games. it’s a totally different animal, and personally it leaves me quite shocked each time I have an interaction that is like a wild card because I forget what this animal is and where it comes from. it also keeps me coming back to do more research, lol.

back to the gen Z-er I was messaging the other night. the “split” that I talk about above presented itself so clearly over text and I was dumbfounded. I wondered why it felt like I was talking to two people — one human, and one internet/cell phone personality. the vibes were all over the place like I have seen with a number of my younger friends in their early 20s (especially friends I love but call super-flakes — they just can’t help it, it’s truly the curse of their generation. we don’t usually hang out. but I love them from afar). I was like “who are you!?”. it illustrates this very temporarily fragmented aspect of human self which is trying to work it’s way into cohesion due to unmeasured blasts of information (internet/social media/immediate access) that I’m certain is not natural for any human being, no matter when they were born. but this split takes a while to really show itself and work it’s way back into cohesion. and I wonder what that split and cohesion will look like once integrated in the next decade (or if it just won’t happen at all). it’s a brave new world indeed.

the internet really has, in a way, crippled the social skills of gen Zs (and a bunch of gen Ys). I don’t believe that we are designed, at birth, as 3d humans, to digest and ionize the 5d wavelengths of all that we are hit with from an internet and social media perspective. it also gets in the way of how we manage socially, regardless of how much we actually do socialize. from an outsider’s perspective I am blown away at how different my personal experience is with people spanning specifically different generations. maybe I’m just writing the obvious here, maybe everyone thinks about this and already gets it. but it has only become clearer to me, as of late and as through very much study and analysis, what this all means. I’m gathering that study and “evidence” as I put it toward other endeavors. like things that can measure what is actually human and what is not. because we are not living fully human lives when we are being taken out of that experience on a minute to minute basis, and relying on that experience simultaneously.

the biggest setback I notice with the Y and Z gens is unintentional lack of empathy for others that only exists because they can not seem to line up their thoughts=feelings=words=actions. it’s just too hard having 2 different selves! one internet self and one IRL self. yeah. I notice that it creates issues for them on the job front, and of course on the dating and social fronts. there is a lot to make up for in the way of merely seeing experiences and learning from them that way, versus actually HAVING experiences and learning from them that way — which would bridge the gap for them into the space of cohesion that their soul is no doubt looking for in the first place.

my wish for the gen Y-ers and gen Z-ers is that we/they take more risks on a human and personal level, beyond the realm of text and social media. that requires vulnerable human one on one connection, electronics aside. my wish is that we/they actually go do the things that make us the most afraid. I think that is the key to this particular lock (and it is, for sure, a lock) — facing the deepest personal fears available to us. it is only in this territory that we can actually become cohesive, get what we want and need, and integrate all that we are bombarded with from 5d internet land.