Fighting off the Gen Z loneliness epidemic (includes photo essay)

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Isolation is often overlooked in plain sight. Appearing isolated and undergoing isolation are two different things. Jordan Viart, a 21-year-old student and worker at Miami-Dade College enjoys exercising, playing sports, and watching movies. There are social groups in school that he avoids despite knowing it can be beneficial to learn from others. But Viart enjoys life without social commitment.

Ultimately, this photo essay highlights the deep cycle Generation Z commonly focuses on through social media and everyday interactions. Both isolation and loneliness stem from interpersonal relationships. One can undergo isolation but not deal with harm.

“I think my self-isolation is no longer a problem, maybe for a split second I might have thought it had been, but not anymore, because usually when it comes to self-isolation, it’s just me, that’s it, nobody else but me.” – Jordan Viart.

Viart seeks to pursue a career in the construction management industry, a value he provides importance to with an instinct to leave isolation aside for a better future.

“Yes, I am very fulfilled, with the lifestyle that is isolated, I don’t see myself ever changing, maybe down the road, I have, somehow, eventually I have to get married, I have to find a partner somehow.” – Jordan Viart.

In a generation where everything can be done with a device, Viart tries to keep his values traditional, eating homemade meals for what he describes as part of his routine.

As far as groups go with other people, I see it as an opportunity to learn something from it, but I’m not the type of person that is willing to take that chance, because I just can’t do it, it’s something I can’t do; it doesn’t come natural to me.” – Jordan Viart

Life is a game of thinking and Viart enjoys being able to think about situations in which he can take paths doing the same things over and over again: a cycle.

Culture, sports, and beliefs ground Viart in a world where he enjoys being at home, spending time with his family and loved ones, keeping his circle small.

Currently focused on obtaining a healthier lifestyle, Viart takes precautions to constantly exercise.

“It’s interesting, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say I want to join a club or a group or anything, I’d rather just do it on my own.” – Jordan Viart

Personally imposed limitations cloud Viarts thoughts to grow socially, highly depending on his strength and relying on connections that feel natural during initial interactions with others.

“I am an observer, I just like to watch and look, I don’t like to speak my mind.” – Jordan Viart.

Julian Davis is a student at Florida International University, pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism. Julian is Jamaican-American and is passionate about photography and the environment, always looking for a way to inspire others about the same. He currently works as a photographer for the school newspaper, PantherNOW. After graduation, Julian aspires to do investigative journalism focusing on environmental corruption.

Brian Diaz is a senior at FIU majoring in Digital Communication and Media with a strong focus on media production. Documentation and story production have led him to enjoy the ability to shape media to reach communities with powerful videography. After graduation, he is interested in becoming a live camera operator.

Ashanti Germosen is a junior at FIU that is in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in digital journalism. The passion for journalism is fueled by the drive to continue learning outside of an academic setting. She is recurrently a writer for the Afrikin foundation based in Miami centered around spreading the culture of the African diaspora. She also creates the social media post for the data analysis and CRM company Synergistix. She intends to broaden her scope by gearing her career toward spreading awareness of social injustice and embracing diverse cultures.