Generation Z lives in spectrum of sensitivity


Editorial Board

In this day and age, people are either too sensitive or not sensitive enough; there seems to be no in-between. However, there is a spectrum to this: the good and the bad. People are compassionate by nature; it is simply a built-in reaction. But in a world dominated by technology, Generation Z has become perceptive to just about anything that makes them feel out of control. 

Social media plays a factor in generational sensitivity, on a widespread scale. Parental censoring during childhood leads to more or less receptivity in what people like to call the “real world.” But being in touch with your emotions is a strength, from being transparent in relationships to being empathetic towards others.

Being temperamental in this world isn’t uncommon, especially among teenagers. Hormones are constantly building up in the teenage years, which leads to a lot of mood swings. A teen’s perspective is constantly changing based on what their parents, peers, friends and anyone they look up to tells them. Children are receptive, and that’s why habits are so easy to build during the adolescence stage. The main source of receptive domination is social media. When one is criticized on social media, it can latch onto many insecurities. 

Generation Z relies on technology as their source for everything, including building them up, which doesn’t always happen. They search for validation, and when it is found, teens will do anything to keep it. When this validation is stripped, teens don’t know what to do. Teens aren’t able to accept and process disappointment well. 

Parenting plays a part in how this generation acts when faced with criticism and how open one is to the world around them. If one is raised to expect validation for everything and to be reliant instead of independent, then criticism hits like a slap in the face. If a person isn’t taught how to take constructive criticism and roll with it, then it can be very hard to learn from mistakes. Much of Generation Z is taught to let other people fight their battles; for example, when parents become over-involved in their child’s school life— like emailing teachers about their child’s grades— it teaches students to sit back and let other people do their work for them. Students can be hypersensitive to a bad grade because validation is an expected response to what may be below-basic work. Taking constructive criticism should be taught from a young age, in order to save teens from oversensitivity when faced with challenges. 

Sensitivity can also be good. There is nothing wrong with having feelings, making them known and working through them. Empathy is needed to build relationships, to give comfort and is vital to any kind of human connection. Feeling strong emotions in any situation can be justified— people can be hurtful, so people have the right to make a big deal out of the way someone poorly treats them— and it is needed to see each side of a situation. People are entitled to their own opinion, no matter what the topic is, and they are allowed to be amenable to the world around them. 

Comfort from others is vital for humans- we need sensitivity. Complaining because of criticism is not the answer, but being taught how to run with criticism and use it to one’s advantage is. There will always be a spectrum to sensitivity in humans, and keeping the balance between the good and the bad is the ultimate goal.