2023 has been a whirlwind year on Instagram, witnessing the ascent of trends like the ‘girl dinner’ and the widespread embrace of Barbie fever. Recently, Instagram dropped its 2024 trend report, unveiling Gen Z’s take on the cultural movements that will shape the year ahead.
We’ll delve into how Gen Z uses Instagram to set trends and explore the distinctive dating landscape of this social era.
No more phone number swaps
The days of Millennials finding love through text messages are behind us. According to Instagram’s official statistics, a whopping 28% of users now prefer swapping Instagram accounts for future contact. While this might be old news for our Nigerian readers, it’s worth noting that in places like Europe and America, communication predominantly happens through iMessage, WhatsApp, and other phone-centric apps. Imagine your next potential connection not asking for your phone number but directly evaluating your online presence to determine the trajectory of your relationship. It raises the question: Can you afford not to curate your social media?
The Gen Z approach
A recent Instagram survey uncovered that Gen Z signal interest by interacting with real-time updates, liking posts, sharing internet memes, and engaging with the small box feature. Once they sense potential, they gradually elevate connections by adding individuals to their close friends’ list, sharing exclusive content, or even featuring them in a “photo dump” post—a compilation of unrelated photos.
When asked about the qualities they value most in friends, users from almost all regions emphasised “someone I can speak freely with, someone who knows me better than others.”
Top 5 deal-breaking behaviours
The report also probed into behaviours that would put off a potential date—coined as “frogging” in the year’s vernacular. Here are the top five behaviours that Gen Z finds most intolerable:
- Chewing with an open mouth
- Lack of humour or taste in memes
- Dirty fingernails
- Baby talk
- Following an ex on Instagram
2024: The year for self-growth
While we’ve explored the social and dating dynamics of Gen Z, the report indicates that most young people from this generation aim to focus on self-growth and meaningful relationships in 2024. Beyond staying connected with friends and family through social media, they use these platforms to stay abreast of current trends in fashion, music, and technology. Remarkably, one-third of young individuals believe that the fastest way to accumulate wealth is by being their own boss, making self-realisation and development the top priorities for Gen Z in the coming year. This emphasis on self-growth underscores why becoming the driving force in society is the most esteemed pursuit for this age group.
This article was syndicated from Marie Claire Taiwan
Translated and adapted by Praise Vandeh, Marie Claire Nigeria Content Writer