Living Life Through a Screen – Info Gadgets
As I scrolled through Instagram recently, I was confronted with the reality that Generation Z uses social media as the filter through which they compare their lives. Posed pictures on mountain peaks, toes in sandy beaches, and supermodels with professionally altered appearances litter the screens of our teens. It’s no wonder they are more depressed and anxious than ever before. In a study done by the Royal Society for Public Health in Britain, “Instagram was the worst social media offender for fueling anxiety, depression, body image issues, and more.” The comparison game runs rampant, but our teens don’t realize the truth of what social media has become.
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” — Steven Furtick
Social media has quickly become the way that teens move up in their social standing. Gone are the days of the band geeks and the social outcasts competing with the football jocks and the prom queens. Here to stay is the who’s who in the social media world. Those with the most “likes” or “hearts” are the ones with the power.
Those with the most “likes” or “hearts” are the ones with the power.
Sadly, Generation Z hasn’t realized that those photos on Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook are just moments in time, captured often outside of reality. Those picture perfect shots, really aren’t so picture perfect if you zoom out from the frame.
That picture with your friend’s toes in the sand, might just be from the neighborhood beach, not the Pacific Ocean. The picture of that girl with the bikini might’ve been photoshopped or simply taken at an angle that’s more forgiving than you think. That picture of your friend whose barely sweating and says he’s finished a ten mile run may have been taken ten seconds after rolling out of ed.
Generation Z is also known as the iGen, which makes sense considering three out of four teens owned an iPhone in 2017. Notably, children are also receiving their first smartphone at an earlier age. According to an article published by TIME magazine, “kids are receiving their first smartphone at ever-younger ages — the average is 10, according to one recent estimate — and they’re spending more and more time on their devices.”
With that extra time comes more opportunities to experience cyberbullying and other stressors that greatly affect the mental health of our young people. According to the Pew Research Internet Project that was published in 2011, over 85% of those responding had witnessed cyberbullying while online at some point, while 15% of teens say they have been the victim of cyberbullying. Sadly, I feel that that statistic is probably higher, with many teens too embarrassed or ashamed to report the bullying. The Pew Research study also noted that over 90% of teens who witness cyberbullying do nothing to stop it, while 21% of those who see it eventually take part in it.
Article Prepared by Ollala Corp