By Amelia Spring
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 71% of teens use more than one social media site. One of the defining characteristics of so-called Generation Z (those born in or after 1995) is their widespread use of social media. However, social media is not without its drawbacks and problems, and students at CRN identified a few of these problems.
Celine Ferrari, a freshman, complained about the spread of “biased fake news” on social media, pointing out that many individuals accept information online without reviewing it first. Other individuals at CRN pointed out many valid concerns such as cyberbullying and online predators. One issue that seems to concern most of Generation Z is the overuse of social media.
“One of the problems that the counselors see is not as much social interaction,” explained Mrs. Callanan, a guidance counselor at CRN. “You can see two or three people sitting together and they’re just on their phones.”
Decreased social interaction is an epidemic among teenagers and a serious concern: Pew Research Center reported that 94% of teens go online daily and 24% go online “almost constantly.”
Alexa Giorgio, a junior, worries that “people are addicted” to social media and expressed the concern that it turns young people into “shut-ins.” Researchers and scientists worry about the decreased face-to-face interaction caused by overuse of social media, as social isolation causes a host of psychological problems such as an increased risk of depression, and even physical health issues.
However, social media is by no means entirely negative. There are many benefits that can be derived from social media use. Lianna Wang said that “you can share your art [on Instagram] or what you worked on. . . and there are people that will actually care about it.”
Sackery Sabu explained that one of the benefits of social media is “meeting people that share your interests.” Rachel Rand, a junior, agrees in that “social media is a way to connect with people, and also a way to learn about what’s going on throughout the world. Stuff like the women’s march wouldn’t have happened without social media. It’s a way to bring people together [and] unite.”