Sunday, 02 August 2015 19:33

The Lost Art of Socialising

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Vietnam’s Generation Z is swapping real-life friendships for virtual ones.


Although almost 100 percent literate, Vietnam is a society relying strongly on the art of conversation. People like to talk. Whether it’s over a coffee, at the market, with the help of a beer or five, or around the dinner table, chat and gossip is part and parcel of daily life.


But according to a newly published study, a whole generation is missing out on one of Vietnam’s finest pastimes in order to live a digital lifestyle.


The report by market research company Epinion and media communications agency OMD Vietnam shows that of Vietnam’s 14.4 million-strong Generation Z (13 to 21 year olds), fewer than a third (30 percent) say they feel comfortable talking to their friends in person. Most say they’d rather use a chat app.


Keep it Indoors


Says the report, rather than possessing a youthful generation that roams the street at night, Vietnam is now home to a growing quorum of tweens and teenagers who would rather be at home connecting virtually.


“For this generation, how they feel they are presented online is far more important than in real life,” says Bui Tieu Vy, Epinion’s senior marketing executive. “For example, a like on an Instagram picture is more valuable to GenZ than a verbal compliment. Almost half (47 percent) prefer to use emojis to express feelings rather than actual words.”


She adds: “Our results found that because the under 21s have only ever known a world with internet, the line between digital and physical is very blurred. Most feel their existence is validated by their social media presence.”


Face to Face


The report also shows that rather than socialising in person, GenZ’s favourite hobbies are reading their Facebook wall (79 percent) or chatting online (71 percent).


On top of this, when it did come to interacting in person, most young people (59 percent) said their preferred venue is their own home, rather than at a public place such as a café or a convenience store.


What this means for the conversational traditions of the market, café or dinner table will only be seen in the next decade. What is clear is that with all the other transformations of the past 20 years, society in this country is going through an irrevocable change.


To see the report in full, click on

Last modified on Thursday, 06 August 2015 17:42
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