The invisible epidemic affecting Gen-Z (includes video story)

Generation Z is experiencing a new epidemic, and it’s not CO-VID or the Flu: It’s social isolation.

In 2023, the United States Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek Murthy, issued an advisory on the epidemic of social isolation and loneliness. With a majority of college students being part of Gen Z, it begs the question, why is loneliness and isolation so prominent in young adults?

Florida International University college student Will Nicolas Jean-Baptiste shares his experience with loneliness and his transition into college in the later part of the Covid pandemic.

“When I transferred to FIU as a junior, CO-VID happened in 2020 so I experienced having to be at home . . . and a lot of my friends experienced that too,” said Jean-Baptiste. “But I felt like we were able to help each other out with that.”

To combat this epidemic, the surgeon Dr. Murthy’s advisory lays out a national strategy to promote social connection which includes strengthening social infrastructure, enacting pro-connection public policies, mobilizing the health sector, reforming digital environments, deepening our knowledge, and cultivating a culture of connection.

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.