Generation Z, those born between 1996 and 2010, are true digital natives. They have never known a world without the internet and social media. And they are the first generation to grow up with closed captioning on TV. So why do all Gen Zers turn on closed captioning? In this article, we’ll explore some of the reasons why this generation prefers captions over audio.

What is Closed Captioning?

Closed captioning is the display of text on a television, computer, or another video screen to provide supplemental or interpretive information. It is usually used for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but it can also be useful for viewers who speak a different language or have difficulty understanding spoken dialogue. 

Closed captioning popularity has grown in recent years as more people watch TV and movies online and therefore it could be found on many digital platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video.

The Benefits of Closed Captioning

There are many benefits to closed captioning, especially for Generation Z.

  1. Closed captioning provides a written record of the audio content of a program. This can be helpful for viewers who want to follow along with a particularly fast-paced or complex show.
  2. Closed captioning can be used as a tool for language learning. For viewers who are studying a foreign language, captions can provide a valuable resource for understanding spoken dialogue.
  3. Closed captioning can improve the viewing experience for people with hearing impairments. It can also be helpful for viewers who are in noisy environments or who have difficulty understanding accents.
  4. Closed captioning can make a program more accessible to a wider audience. By providing a written text of the audio content, closed captioning can make a program accessible to viewers who would otherwise not be able to enjoy it.

Why Does Generation Z Turn on Closed Captioning?

There are many reasons why Generation Z prefers closed captioning over audio. Here are some of the most common reasons:

1. Focus More Intently on the Content

By using captions, they are able to focus more intently on the content – without worrying about missing anything that is being said.

2. Help With ADHD

Closed Captions help with ADHD because it allows the viewer to process both the audio and visual information simultaneously – something that can be difficult for people with ADHD. The usage of closed captioning among people with ADHD has been shown to improve comprehension and engagement.

3. In Order to Increase Awareness

In order to increase awareness and to be more understanding of people that are hard of hearing or deaf. Increasing awareness help to spread the importance of usability and web accessibility.

4. To Understand Movie/show Quotes

To understand movie/show quotes that are popular on social media platforms – if a viewer does not use captions they may feel left out of the conversation.

 5. Help to Understand Certain Accents

They might have difficulty understanding certain accents or the audio might be unclear and by turning on captions it will help with that.

6. For Entertainment Purposes

For entertainment purposes, such as following along with movie quotes or TV show recaps.

7. A Better Understanding of Fast-paced Scenes

To get a better understanding of what is happening in fast-paced scenes, or to be able to rewatch and analyze a scene more thoroughly.

8. Muted Audio Due to Disruptions

If the audio is muted due to disruptions, such as people talking in the background, captions can still provide the viewer with the information they need.


Overall, closed captioning provides many benefits for Generation Z. By having access to a written record of the audio content, they are able to focus more intently on the show, learn new languages, and increase their awareness of different accents and hearing impairments. Additionally, closed captioning can be used for entertainment purposes and to understand fast-paced scenes. Ultimately, closed captioning provides a valuable resource for Generation Z that enhances their viewing experience.