Isolation and loneliness plague Gen Z (includes podcast)

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“Isolation the Epidemic” reflects on the current wave of loneliness currently affecting Generation Z. Members of the generation take a step back and reflect on the silent epidemic, which has long and short term effects. Through this podcast, the hosts give a voice to the silent epidemic of isolation and loneliness.

In episode one, the hosts speak to Taleha White, a grad student studying social work at the University of Central Florida, to better understand how loneliness is affecting Gen Z. They brought attention to college life via the eyes of a social work student whose awareness of mental health and social issues played a vital role in our discussion on the isolation epidemic. A key point she brought into focus is how the lack of diversity on college campuses may play a role in enabling the Isolation epidemic. She states, “If there’s more diversity in the institution in the university, then maybe, you know, students might feel more comfortable not only socializing within themselves, but socializing, with the administration.”

In episode two, the hosts speak to Valentina Prodocimo, a senior studying Computer Engineering at Florida International University. They explore her transition from being an in-person student to going fully online student after moving miles away to North Florida from her native hometown of Miami. Prodocimo touches upon the difference of ease when it comes to communicating with fellow peers physically versus trying to do that virtually. For example, putting yourself in situations where being social is encouraged when you’re working in labs or joining social clubs. But when you’re a college student in a unfamiliar environment miles from home, and doing classes online, these opportunities are rare to non existent. “I feel like when I was FIU, it was probably easier to interact with students at FIU because we had more to like, in contact like we can like start up a conversation…,” Prodocimo said.

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.

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.

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.