DHM Research reports the youngest generation is believed to be more politically active, less social

PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - The youngsters shown here are members of Generation Z. They're tuned out of politics — yet remain happy, healthy and dedicated to friends and family.

That's not how the average Oregonian views the all-digital Generation Z, a new poll produced by DHM Research reports.

Instead, adults perceive Gen Z as politically aware activists who don't spend much time outside. The youngest demographic has trouble forging strong relationships, according to the poll's respondents, who believe that excessive screen time has likely contributed to the cohort's feelings of anxiety and depression.

The DHM survey of 548 Oregonians was conducted between June 14 and 21, with a margin of error of 2.5 to 4.2 percent. Here are the highlights:

• 47 percent of respondents believe Generation Z is less likely to build strong friendships than preceding generations

• 65 percent believe that Gen Z is more likely to get involved in politics

• 90 percent believe that Gen Z spends less time out of doors

• 60 percent believe that Gen Z spends less time with their families

• 62 percent have concerns about the negative effects of social media on youth

• 72 percent believe children should complete 8th grade before receiving a smartphone

The poll also measured attitudes toward social media, which vary drastically depending on political affiliation: 46 percent of Democrats believe social media is good, compared with just 26 percent of Republicans and 30 percent for independents.

There's no agreed upon age range for defining the different generations — though 20 years is considered the norm. Sociologists say these generational markers may be more snappy marketing terms than useful scientific tools.

That being said, only the very oldest members of Generation Z have tasted their first legal sip of alcohol. The cohort doesn't remember a world without wi-fi or cell phones. They learned about Sept. 11 from history books or their parents' recollections.

The youngest Millennials are graduating from college or have been toiling away for years. Many in the cohort have delayed serious relationships and homeownership because they are poorer than their parents. Elder Millennials are eyeing their 40th birthday.

Generation X — once derided as too busy skateboarding or watching MTV to accomplish anything — have become respectable adults who write letters to the editor about e-scooters.

Some baby boomers have retired, though many continue to work. Those among the preceding Silent Generation, while too young to serve in WWII, are in their 70s or 80s.

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