Forbes — Black joy is resistance. In a distressing environment brimming with racial injustice, Black happiness needs more space. VSCO, a photo and video editing and sharing platform driven by self-expression, sought to create that space by launching its #BlackJoyMatters campaign last month, through which it’s called on social media users to submit content highlighting bright spots.
While this movement may be sparking greater positivity, the internet is still rife with traumatic content. That’s why VSCO recently partnered with JUV Consulting, a Gen-Z-operated research company, to explore how hopeful, supported and safe young people—the biggest users of social media—are feeling. The research covers areas ranging from how Gen-Z prioritizes joy to the state of their emotional well-being after witnessing racial violence on social feeds. Below are some of the study’s key findings.
Social Media Content Has A Lasting Emotional Impact On Black Gen-Zers
-76% of Gen-Z survey respondents say they regularly or often see visual depictions of racial violence in their social media feeds, and that it hurts them emotionally.
-83% say it makes them feel depressed or hopeless.
-75% say it makes them feel upset and angry.
Black Gen-Zers Favor The Feeling Of CommunityBlack Gen-Z respondents say they feel connected to like-minded people and/or less alone (94%) and feel greater compassion for others (57%). Still, 62% said it makes them stressed/anxious.
-84% feel they have allies of other races and ethnicities on social media, compared to the 72% who feel they have allies in real life.
Black Gen Z Wants To See And Share More Joy
-Nearly 90% of Black survey respondents—and 70% of non-Black respondents—agree that they want to see and celebrate joy on social media more than they do now.
-For Black Gen-Z, the top three emotions missing from social media are excitement (56%), joy and comfort (both 48%). For non-Black Gen-Z, it’s comfort (48%), excitement (45%) and hope (41%).
As Gen-Z is considered to be the generation leading the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s important these young trailblazers remain socially aware and responsible. It is just as important that they protect their peace. Luckily, 87% of the survey’s respondents are hopeful for the future. The trauma that comes with ongoing struggles for racial justice may be a perpetual reality, but here’s hoping initiatives such as #BlackJoyMatters are able to balance out the heaviness.
For(bes) The Culture is Forbes’ recently launched hub for Black and brown professionals. Follow me on Twitter.