What Is Tech Shame? Gen Z Is Not As Tech Savy As You Might Think

Dubbed the 'tech-savvy generation', Gen Z faces a tough time when they don't know how to use technology, which has led to a new phenomenon: 'tech shame'. Let's delve into the impact that screens, social media, & digital pressures are having on the digital natives of our time.

Uma Bakshi
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Gen Z

(Image Credits : GETTY Images )

Have you ever been ragged because you didn't know how to use a piece of technology? Well, if you're Gen Z, the feeling is all-too-familiar: being teased because, contrary to expectations, you're not the best with technology.

Most people tend to think that all members of Generation Z are very comfortable with technology. After all, they're the first generation globally to have been born not knowing a world without TVs, smartphones, and emails. While Gen Z did grow up and become comfortable with technology, it's important to remember that technology grew up too, which is why many Gen Z's aren't familiar with older technology like rotary phones, fax machines, etc. 

Gen Z's 'tech-savvy' reputation has led to many members feeling stressed at not knowing how to use certain technologies in the workplace. This has led to the emergence of a new phenomenon, called 'tech shame', that encapsulates how the younger generations feel at not being able to meet the standards set for them. 

What is 'Tech Shame'?

Simply put, 'tech shame' refers to the feeling one feels when made to feel embarrassed or inadequate because they don't know how to use technology well, according to NDTV. 'Tech-shaming' can happen anywhere—at home, in school, or at the workplace—making fun of someone's lack of skill in technology, especially if they're younger, can make them feel like they're useless, and can harm their self-esteem. 

In a world where we depend on rapidly developing technology for everything, 'tech-shame' is all too common. Many Gen Z's feel inadequate for not knowing how to use older technologies that are still in use. Many more feel embarrassed at not knowing how to use new technology in the market because it wasn't what they were used to when they were growing up. 

In The Workplace


Gen Z's feelings of inadequacy when unfamiliar with technology that they should know how to use because of the 'tech-savvy' stereotype take on a new form in the workplace. According to The Guardian, tech company HP, which coined the phrase 'tech shame' in the first place, did a study wherein it was found that 1 in 5 office workers felt "judged for having tech issues," making it "less likely to ask for help."

Gen Z workers tend to be better equipped at using apps and other such  tech systems designed to be user-friendly over old-school systems like desktop computing, which often means that sometimes they won't know how to switch on a computer in the first place, according to The Guardian.

While there's no instant solution to this, a way to slowly move past feelings of 'tech shame' is to talk about it- if you're having issues with using technology, there's a good chance others do too. Don't keep your feelings to yourself; ask for help and learn from the mistakes you make.

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