Recent publications report that adults known as Generation Z, between the ages of 18 to 23, increasingly rely upon social media to gain knowledge of social issues. Given social media's embeddedness in Generation Z's life, this study sought to understand if or how social media has influenced and possibly empowered Generation Z to act on social issues, particularly global climate change. This study used a phenomenological research method, which focused on the commonality of Generation Z's lived experience. Emerging themes collected through a literature review and data portray Generation Z as maturing into adulthood as tech-savvy, diverse, and inclusive self-starters. Worry for their future surfaced through data collection as interview participants discussed their concerns of global climate change, racial and female inequality, diversity and inclusion, and homelessness. Future examination of this growing adult population may explore their impact on the world.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Generation Z -- Attitudes; Social media -- Influence; Climatic changes in mass media

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Christopher Worley