Digital and social but also inclusive, responsible, practical, with some important values: Generation Z is rediscovering the family, friendship and off-line life, giving the lie to the commonest stereotypes about our youngest citizens. Those are the findings of the study entitled “Generation Z: a future with an eye on the past” commissioned by BNP Paribas Cardif, one of Italy’s top ten insurance companies, and conducted by the AstraRicerche research institute. A glimpse of the world through the eyes of 14-24 years old looking at the way they relate to social life and social media, technology, information, consumer habits, mobility, leisure, work and expectations for the future.
The study was presented in the prestigious setting of BNP Paribas’ Torre Diamante offices, at a session chaired by Gianluca Gazzoli , Radio Deejay host, and attended by Isabella Fumagalli, Head of Territory for Insurance in Italy of BNP Paribas Cardif, Cosimo Finzi, Director of AstraRicerche, Salvatore Palella –CEO & Founder Helbiz–, Valentino Magliaro –Civic Leader Obama Foundation and Founder Humans to Humans –, Cristina Cislaghi –Head of Media Relations di BNP Paribas Cardif– and the “virtual” attendance of the guys of MABASTA, winners of the contest Open-F@b Call4Ideas 2019 promoted by BNP Paribas Cardif, with whom the Company collaborates by supporting them in their project against bullying and cyberbullying.
So how is Gen Z, which represents a good 11% of the Italian population, to be characterized? Well, this rising generation certainly doesn’t go only by appearances and virtual considerations – quite the reverse. What really count for them are authentic values, those of family and friends – and surprisingly enough it’s not online friends, mentioned only by 26% of them. Real friends are the people they hang out with during their leisure time (74%), school mates or work colleagues (58%), and only to a lesser extent people they got to know on social media and then spend time with in real life (37%).
This is a generation concerned about the environment and open-minded about diversity. They’re careful to sort their rubbish (66%) and try to minimize waste (60%), even if rather fewer of them actively respond to challenges such as voluntary work (only 25% actually do any).
They are an active generation (only 9% were neither in education nor employment), more exposed to social phenomena like bullying: more than half said they had suffered bullying at school or discrimination at work, in particular over their health and physique (women above all). Their social lives, too, sometimes led them to make mistakes themselves: 47% said they had posted something online that they afterwards regretted, or had had direct or indirect experience of cyberbullying (over 40%). This was despite being relatively little aware of or interested in their online reputations, and not being very conscious of how serious the problem could be.
Concerning the digital world the figures show a wide range of attitudes and practices. Smartphones are the most used devices (93% had one; 87% said they couldn’t do without it), though they do not change them that often: over 45% said they switch only when necessary. In absolute terms the social media most often used and felt to be most essential were, as expected, WhatsApp (89%) and Instagram (82%), with Facebook that stops at 72% and Tik Tok that reaches 10%. Surprisingly fewer than one in three of these multisocial digital natives were very actively posting new or personal content, and fewer than one in five described themselves as original content creators. They mainly communicate with images (60% interact by sharing photos), far more than videos (6%).
In their leisure time these young people’s favourite occupation (78%) is listening to music. They like to experience music live, and prefer concerts to discos (only 31%). Next come serials and films, watched on TV or other devices (74%), and time with friends, either going out together (65%) or in remote chat (65%). Going to the cinema is still a pleasant way of spending time (49%), and so is reading a good book (45%).
“Listening is the first tool we have to effectively respond to social changes with increasingly accessible and people-oriented insurance solutions. After Millenials and Over 65 we were interested in understanding Generation Z which represents the target of the future – says Isabella Fumagalli, Head of Territory for Insurance in Italy di BNP Paribas Cardif “We found ourselves in front of young digital natives very concrete and with clear ideas, where the virtual world is a ‘normality’ that does not displace traditional values, such as family and friends, and new ones, such as inclusion and sustainability. Our challenge will be to offer them innovative products and new service models in a digital logic that always takes into account the experiential component and the positive social impact. ”