Around the world, people of all ages are feeling stressed. Today’s teens and young adults are no exception – but even though the internet is a source of their anxiety, it’s also the antidote. Gen Z are going online to find relaxation and express themselves creatively.

Here’s what we learned on this topic in our new Youth Decoded study:

Stress and loneliness are pervasive, magnified by being constantly “on” in the digital world. Even though Gen Z is connected to everyone they know all the time, they still struggle to build deeper, physical connections. Many young people describe themselves as stressed (64%), frequently lonely (49%), and having more anxiety than someone should at their age (61%). There’s a lot of pressure to keep up with social media, with 55% saying it takes up too much of their time. Because of teens’ constant connectedness to social networks and internet life, their digital personalities have become just as important – if not more – than who they are IRL. Most feel pressure to present only the positive, with 75% admitting their posts just show the best parts of their lives.

Gen Z take self-care seriously. The good news is that they are still finding ways to cope.  This generation understand and talk about mental health better than previous youth generations, and this is breaking down the stigma. Young people now have the language and the tools to talk about mental health in a new way – it’s one of the reasons why mental health issues are so prominent in today’s society. They consider themselves resilient (81%) and feel they’re getting better at dealing with stress. To relieve stress, daily escapes like music, TV, gaming, and hobbies are important.

Instead of unplugging, Gen Z are finding – and creating – safe places of calm that they can escape into online. Digital detoxing is often thought of as a way to escape stress. But for today’s young people, being online is so hard-wired in their lives that being offline can be stressful. Only 24% of Gen Z report digitally detoxing in the last couple of months – instead, they seek out places of calm online. More than half (54%) have used an app to aid relaxation and 36% have used an app to limit their screen time.

Creativity helps them cope – and is their go-to form of communication. Tech helps Gen Z de-stress through self-expression. Creativity is inherent in everything they do, including how they communicate. In fact, 4 out of 5 young people say they use visual communication on a daily basis and three-quarters use creative apps and online activities. Whether it’s playing with filters or creating memes, editing videos or making music, they are enjoying all the possibilities they have at their fingertips.