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  • Writer's pictureSarah Bruno

Social Media Is Killing My Generation

Social media is killing my generation. As argued countless times in the past, social media has crept its way into everyone’s lives, damaging the health of millions of teens. Though, there is more to it than just the mental harm.  Social platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram, and snapchat, have destroyed teen attention spans, made real people disposable, and has introduced an entirely new form of politics that globally effects everyone. 

The use of short-form content has been on the up rise for almost 10 years now. Beginning with apps like Vine, having quick 6 second comedy clips, and musically, a lip syncing app, that garnered global fame. People quickly became addicted to the fast swiping through due to the ease and enjoyment. Since those faded, TikTok has become possibly the most popular app in the world. Now instead of 6 seconds, you can make up to 5 minute videos on anything within their guidelines. Tweens and teens have flocked to it, most using it as their only means of entertainment, and casting aside movies/TV, as well as YouTube. The effects of short-form content can be seen in any school, doctors office, and couch. My generation, including myself, cant sit still for more than 5 minutes without a constant intake of content. Movies have become background noise, art has become material for videos and posts, and the act of simply waiting, has ceased to exist. Our ability to focus and direct ourselves is essential to success, without it there is no work ethic for my generation.

Social media has also brought upon a different path for some people. Becoming an “influencer”. Yet, the money and fame can almost instantly diminish before it’s even started. The act of “canceling” is when a popular social figure has done or said something, whether it be 10 years ago or presently, that the general public of social media disagrees with. The person is quickly humiliated, losing jobs, deals, and most importantly, fans. Some deserve to have their fame ripped from them (i.e. racial offenses, sexual allegations, abusive behavior) but some also do not. Social media has made people disposable like never before. Before, there was an occasional black listing in Hollywood or scandal that most could bounce back from but now you can’t get back on the horse. Microtrends come and go within a few days, bringing the creators of them down as well. What once was a way of income, now becomes an expensive hobby. The power of “canceling” and disposing of influencers is in anyone’s hands. It has completely reinvented celebrities and the way we interact with them as a whole. 

Although most will argue that social media has created a new form of representation and spreading awareness of hot topics, that doesn’t necessarily mean its good. Yes, in some situations it can help, but the new generation of politics is bringing down real change. Activism has been belittled down to infographics on an Instagram post and who can speak about it first. If one doesn’t do it fast enough, people force them to pick a side on the conflict and educate their audience on it. In reality, what is this going to do other than stress the receiving party? Nothing. You are not donating. You are not going to the conflict to help. You are instead more focused on anything but the issue itself. This behavior does the opposite of what my generation thinks it does. In recent news, the Israel-Palestine conflict has been widely (and rightfully so) spread over social media. Some people are trying to do boycotts on corporations, like Starbucks, that support one side. Boycotting corporations is not going to change the government’s mind and won’t even dent the corporation. Focusing energy on these actions doesn’t instill change but rather distracts from it.

Social Media, while being  an ever-consuming factor in my generation’s lives is constantly finding new ways to break us down. This is not a single problem that effects a single type of person, but an issue that plagues every race, sexuality, gender and more. Solving these dilemmas can create work ethic, empathy, and change for the fire-cracker generation we are.

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