While Generation Z is more aware and vocal about their overall wellness, their comfort level of sharing any struggles is more often displayed when behind a screen. In a world where most of their daily tasks, including ordering food, dating, and shopping, are all done behind a screen, the norm for them is to also share whatever is on their mind through a short post or message via text or social media behind the same screen, as opposed to face-to-face.
As the back half of this generation is beginning or already entered their college career, we need to think about how this digital oversharing translates into a college setting. Given their varying levels of discomfort with interpersonal communication, it’s likely that many of these students are feeling isolated when transitioning to college life, but are unlikely to seek out help from professors or on-campus resources—which can result in them becoming at-risk for dropping out. With an already significant freshman dropout rate of 30 percent, colleges need to reevaluate how they’re communicating with and supporting students.
The implementation of a chatbot or alternative form of digital communication may be the solution to solve this problem and ultimately improve a student’s wellness and retention.
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