Living in a networked world

Always online: tweeting, online chatting and surfing are part of everyday life for most people
Always online: tweeting, online chatting and surfing are part of everyday life for most people Timothy Fadek/laif
Major cities are particularly attractive for young people.

T rendy cities, snowy mountains for skiing, waves for surfing, and a well-functioning transportation network: there is a great deal to discover in Germany. And plenty of fun recre­ational things to do there as well. The big cities are particularly attractive for young adults. “Big”, however, is relative. In actual fact there are only four cities in Germany with more than one million inhabitants, namely Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne. Berlin is recognised as the global hotspot for young creative professionals, yet even smaller centres such as Frankfurt am Main, Leipzig, and Düsseldorf are cosmopolitan.

Here it is completely normal for friends, neighbours or colleagues to have a Turkish, Polish, or Italian name. The nightlife and entertainment scene offers endless options for chilling and partying; there are “insider tips” in every town and city. Vegetarians and vegans can find everything they need. Fitness clubs where members can really up the tempo are ­often open 24 hours a day; shops are in any case open for longer in the evenings than elsewhere. The best way to get around a city is by bike, with only short distances to cover. Leave the car in the garage and hop on your bike! – In many cities, young people are really driving the bicycle boom. University towns like Münster and Heidelberg already have designated bike parks. And for those who take a trip with a car now and again there are multiple car-sharing options available.

The sharing economy is the label of Generation Z, for whom ownership is not ­everything and sharing is good. As such, digital technologies play an important role in arranging everyday life. Whats­App, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – most young people are perfectly networked and devote a lot of time to staying so: around 80 percent use social networks every day or several times a week. That said, roughly one in three young people also sees dangers in this trend: 76 percent fear an increasing stress level owing to digit­alisation. And 74 percent are afraid that their privacy could be violated, according to a YouGov study from 2014.

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