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Gen Z & Millennials Are Done Being Online. Here’s What They’re Doing Instead.

remote work, online interactions, In-Person Hangouts, GenZ and Millenials

In this post-pandemic era, after enduring years of remote work, online interactions, and a sense of isolation, it’s no surprise that the U.S. Surgeon General has warned of a widespread “epidemic of loneliness.” While Gen Z and millennials are often associated with being constantly online, there is a growing movement among younger individuals who yearn to close their laptops, activate the “do not disturb” mode on their phones, and embrace the old-fashioned method of connecting with others: face-to-face interactions.

The Rise of In-Person Hangouts

According to licensed marriage and family therapist Angela Wu, as “embodied beings,” we are wired for social connection, needing that physical sensory experience to feel grounded within ourselves and our communities. As mental wellness continues to be a hot topic, businesses are responding to the increasing demand for in-person connection. Whether rooted in proven psychological practices or merely capitalizing on a trend, companies aim to address the social gaps.

However, with the desire for real-life connections on the rise, many individuals are left wondering where to go to foster these connections. As the world navigates this transition, prioritizing human connection is becoming more crucial than ever.

Seeking Genuine Connections Beyond Romance

The rise of in-person social wellness experiences has extended its reach into the dating world as well. According to a survey by Singles Reports, nearly 80% of individuals aged 18 to 54 have faced emotional fatigue or burnout from online dating. Dating apps like Bumble are responding by organizing in-person singles mixers, and various dating-centric events are emerging with the promise of fostering social interaction, even if romance isn’t immediately found.

Social events like Peoplehood and The Feels are designed to help people create real connections, even if they are lonely or socially anxious. These events incorporate meditation and breathwork, which have been shown to increase people’s inclination to socialize with strangers and have compassion for others.

Do Social Events Lend a Helping Hand?

It is important to note that these events are not meant to replace therapy. However, they can be a helpful start for people who are new to an area or haven’t previously prioritized social connection.

One of the benefits of these events is that they provide a structured environment for people to meet and connect. There is a clear agenda and facilitators who help to guide the conversations. This can be helpful for people who feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed in social situations.

Another benefit of these events is that they bring together people from all walks of life. This can help people to expand their social circle and meet people who they might not otherwise meet.

By combining these events with practices like meditation and breathwork, individuals may find new pathways to socialization, compassion, and personal growth.

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