Social Media: Does it Actually Help Kids ‘Socialize’? Or is it Making Gen-Z the Most Awkward Generation Yet?
Many people view social media as a positive addition to the social community. It allows them to connect with long lost friends, relatives, and peers in a matter of seconds. People are given the opportunity to know every detail of one’s life, but is there a point where all of these details become too much information? Generation Z doesn’t think so…
Gen-Z has grown up surrounded by social media. They have gone through elementary, middle, and high school with Instagram, Snapchat, and many other social media apps downloaded on their devices. The average teenager spends seven hours a day on their phone; their entire lives revolve around how many likes they’ve received on a post or how many viewers their Snapchat story has. Gen-Z spent more time interacting with their friends on a screen than in person (pre-COVID-19, of course). This obsession with technology won’t only hurt their relationships with others but could also jeopardize their progress in life, simply because they cannot learn proper social skills from their phone.
Social media not only increases teenage awkwardness but also decreases self-confidence. Children are surrounded by posts filled with picture perfect people: skinny bodies, flawless skin, etc. These ‘influencers’ appear as if they have it all: perfect lives, perfect bodies, and constant happiness. In reality, no one’s life is perfect. Everyone has their struggles, but teenagers feel isolated and alone, simply because Instagram makes them feel like they are the only one who doesn’t have their life together. Social media fails to normalize normal bodies, and imperfect lives, making it a toxic community to grow up in.
Social media apps fuel off of teenager’s phone addictions, making this growing problem even worse. These apps track people’s every move made on (and off) social media, so that they can best target the audience’s interests. Social media marketing makes it so that these apps will become even more addictive: because they know exactly what users want to see. When will companies like Facebook and Instagram stop profiting off of teen’s social media use? Will these companies ever reach a point where they say: alright, this is enough, or will the social media addiction keep getting worse? Is it ethical for social media companies to exploit vulnerable teenagers? Is the next generation, Generation Alpha, even more doomed than Generation Z? Consider these questions, it is up for you and the rest of the community to decide when enough is enough. Start encouraging yourself and others to take a break from screens. Go outside and live a little. Using social media can be okay to an extent, but spending too much time on it can be damaging and unhealthy.