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The influence of social media on Gen Z

Updated: Nov 29, 2023


Nikolina from Vision Factory

Author: Nikolina Sakač

Date of Publication: 29/04/2023






Social media has had a significant influence on young people's lives in recent years. In particular, the rise of social media platforms has fundamentally changed the way Gen Z communicates. In fact, they share information and engage with the world around

them in multiple new ways.


Overall, social media can have many positive influences on Gen Z. For example, it can foster creativity and self-expression as well as promote community engagement and social activism. Therefore, it's essential to balance the positive and negative impacts of social networks. This way, we’ll ensure that young people are using these platforms safely and responsibly.


The influence of social media on Gen Z

The positive influence of social media on Gen z


On the positive side, social media can provide young people with opportunities to connect with others. Apart from that, they can find new interests and hobbies, and learn about different cultures and perspectives.


Social media platforms can also be used for educational purposes. For instance, you can

access online resources and collaborate with classmates. So, some of the key positive

impacts of social media on young people include:


Connection and Community


Social networks provide Gen Z with the opportunity to connect and interact with peers,

family, and friends. They can create and participate in online communities, share

experiences, and find support.


Creativity and Self-Expression


Social media provides Gen Z with a platform to express themselves creatively. What’s more they can share their art, music, writing, and other forms of creative expression. This can foster a sense of confidence and self-esteem.


Learning and Education


Social networks can be used as a tool for learning and education. So, young people can

access educational resources, engage with online courses, and collaborate with peers on

group projects.


Networking and Professional Development


Social media can provide young people with opportunities for networking and professional development. They can connect with mentors, learn about career opportunities, and build a professional online presence.


Social Activism and Community Engagement


Social media can empower Gen Z to become socially and politically engaged. They can raise awareness about important issues, join social movements, and take action on causes they care about.


Diversity and Inclusion


Social media has helped to promote diversity and inclusivity. This has happened by providing a platform for underrepresented communities to share their voices and stories. So, Gen Z has been particularly vocal in using social media. This way, awareness can be raised about social justice issues, such as racial inequality, gender identity, and climate change.


Mental Health and Well-Being


Social media has also played an important role in destigmatizing mental health. Apart from that, it provides those who struggle with mental health issues with resources. Gen Z has also used social media to advocate for greater awareness and understanding of mental health issues. This way, it promotes self-care and well-being.


The negative influence of social media on Gen Z


However, social media can also have negative impacts on young people's mental health, social skills, and self-esteem. Studies have shown that excessive use of social media can lead to feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression. What’s more, it can contribute to the

development of negative body image and eating disorders. Some examples of negative

influences:


Cyber-bullying


Social media platforms have made it easier for bullies to harass and intimidate others online. As a result, this leads to increased incidents of cyber-bullying. Therefore, it can have serious consequences for Gen Z's mental and emotional well-being. In addition, it can even lead to depression, anxiety, and suicide.


Addiction and Time Management


Social media can be highly addictive, and Gen Z may spend excessive amounts of time on these platforms. Thus, this causes decreased productivity and makes it difficult to manage their own time. It even interferes with the ability to sleep.


Addiction and Time Management

Fake News and Misinformation


Social media platforms have been criticized for facilitating the spread of fake news and

misinformation. Consequently, there is a lot of confusion, distrust, and even harm. Thus,

Gen Z may struggle to distinguish between accurate and misleading information, leading to a skewed worldview.


Pressure to Conform


Social media platforms can create pressure to conform to certain standards of beauty,

success, and popularity. As a result, it brings about a negative self-image and low self-esteem. Hence, Gen Z may feel pressured to present a highly curated, idealized version of themselves online. So, the result is to experience feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.


Privacy and Safety Concerns


Social media platforms have raised concerns about privacy and safety. In particular, Gen Z's personal information and data potentially being shared with third parties without their

knowledge or consent. This can lead to concerns about identity theft, stalking, and other

online dangers.


All in all, it’s essential for parents, educators, and policymakers to help young people

navigate the complex world of social media. However, they have to ensure that they

have the skills and resources to use these platforms safely and responsibly. This includes promoting digital literacy and providing resources for mental health support. Apart from that, it should advocate for stronger regulations to protect young people from harmful content online.


 

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