Maybe Growing up with Social Media is not so Great after all


Eirik Solheim

Eirik Solheim from Unsplash

Andrew Reyes, Staff Writer

Do you watch Youtube while doing homework? Do you check Instagram or TikTok constantly? Do you stare at your phone while you walk down the hall, the street, or in your house?  Do you live for notifications? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are a classic member of Gen Z. 

Social media is everywhere today and Gen Z teens have grown up with it. The internet is part of Gen Z’s daily experience and the impact of this is significant. According to a report from Pew Research Center, over 95% of teens ages 15 to 17 in America own a smartphone while 91% of teens ages 12 to 14 own one. Additionally, over 97% teens in the U.S. use the internet daily.

While none of these numbers probably surprise you, understanding that this growing accessibility to and use of cell phones have also made apps like Tiktok and Instagram skyrocket in users. And their impact over the last decade has been major. Your cousin, mom, grandpa, and even your best friend’s little sibling, all most likely have a TikTok or at least an instagram account. Again, Pew reports that the apps most used by teens are Tiktok, Snapchat, Instagram, and most importantly, Youtube. In fact, 95% of teens in America use Youtube, making it the most popular app among teenagers. 

Now I know what you’re thinking: “Isn’t  it unhealthy for almost 100% of teenagers to stare at a screen all day?” Well, that isn’t necessarily the case in teens’ eyes, as 55% of teenagers think their screen time is just about right. Of course, teens are not blind to the fact that they may use their phone too much as 33% of teens think they use their phone too much.

Cell phones have many positives to them. They can help you connect with friends and can even help you meet new ones. There are thousands of communities online for thousands of hobbies; so if you have an unusual or rare hobby, there is  an online community for it. From gaming to gardening to beetle fighting to extreme ironing, the  internet has it all.