As she begins her speech at the recently held Royal Television Society’s Cambridge Convention, Channel 4’s chief executive, Alex Mahon, aims at Gen Z, citing the time youngsters had spent being out of college during the pandemic while claiming they had not been exposed as much to people with a difference of opinion. The Gen Z’s are people born between the middle to late 1990s and the early 2010s.
“Gen Z youngsters haven’t got the skills to discuss and haven’t got the skills to disagree,’ the Channel 4 boss, Alex Mahon insisted.
Mahon explained that this phenomenon, which is being seen in the workplace is a dangerous step change. ‘What we are seeing with young people who come into the workplace – particularly post pandemic – with this concentration of short form content [short videos on services like Tik Tok and YouTube] is they haven’t got the skills to debate things,’ the Channel 4 boss said.
She added, ‘They haven’t got the skills to discuss, they haven’t got the skills to disagree and commit because they haven’t been raised, particularly with being out of colleges to have those kinds of debates, to get to the point where you’ve got people with a difference of opinion to you and you’re happy to work alongside that, and that is a really dangerous step change in my view that we are seeing.’
In 2022, Channel 4 carried out research that showed that Gen Z is less tolerant of others’ views than their parents and grandparents.
The study found that youngsters could therefore be said to be less liberal than their elders. The Channel4 research branded the phenomenon as the rise of the Young illiberal Progressives or Yips. However, Alex Mahon at the event launched new research that showed that many associate their short-form social media consumption with feeling a lack of control.
According to new research by Mahon, ‘When the algorithm is in charge, people say they feel emotionally out of control, the immediate dopamine-hit fades rapidly and they are left feeling empty.’
It added that it gave them a sense that their lives had been ‘encroached upon’. Per DailyMail, the research concluded, stating that viewers in Britain felt ‘anxious about video overload’. ‘People watch over five hours per day ‘and the video day is lengthening’, Ms. Mahon revealed, adding ‘short-form viewing has piled on to long-form viewing, and gaming has piled in on top of both’.
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