The iGen’ers and Social Media

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The development of smartphones and digital platforms for socialization has influenced lifestyle, behavior, and communication worldwide. Nowadays, there is an easy access to the internet and gadgets with inbuilt cameras to everyone (Gonzalez 6). Moreover, technological innovations have given birth to applications for interaction through mobile phones. People have got into webbed connection, and the dissemination of messages for collaboration has greatly spanned the international level. Consequently, the attention of researchers has been driven to understand the impact of social media on the health of human beings following its unregulated utilization (Gonzalez 7). Therefore, this paper seeks to evaluate the impact of social media use on the iGen’ers. It focuses on whether embracing the use of communication platforms and the internet is an appropriate stance among iGen’ers.

The iGen’ers

The iGen’ers or generation Z are individuals who were born between the years 1996 and 2012. The defining feature of these teenagers is that they have been growing with the internet and devices to connect rapidly with others (Gonzalez 8). In addition, they are constantly exposed to information about events and incidences taking place worldwide in real-time. According to Twenge, iGen stands for the internet generation and is attributed to being irreligious, insecure, imbalanced income generation, and individualistic (Twenge 17). The people in generation Z exhibit trends such as delay in venturing into adulthood responsibilities and limited physical interactions. Moreover, they value safety amongst themselves and are strongly emotional in their reactions (Twenge 25). Thus, the iGen’ers stand out as unique people, warranting investigation of social media and internet use on human beings’ lives.

The Impact of Social Media on iGen’ers

The use of social media affects emotions and changes teenagers’ behavior between the years 1996 and 2012. To the people born in the era of the internet, friendship has picked the direction of online interactions instead of physical meetings. The iGen’ers have little reality about the life experiences of their fellows, making them inconsiderate about the wellness of each other (Rodrigues 76). Many kids who spend a lot of time viewing television are associated with long-term unhappiness in life. Equally, the scenes in videos influence the mood of iGen’ers on Facebook and Instagram, leaving them with sorrows about themselves and the events watched. Through social media platforms, the minds of young stars are infiltrated with imaginary life experiences rather than practical life lessons for development. The reduced face-to-face communication has consequently lowered social skills among them (Twenge 54). As a result, the iGen’ers appear to be less prepared for the responsibilities and duties in adulthood.

The iGen’ers have become self-reliant through social media when dependence on directions from people superior to them is essential. It is often significant for parents to give instructions to their children on the actions to take as they grow up to the age of independence (Twenge 265). Moreover, society is a platform of socialization where agendas on politics, economy and religion are freely exchanged for universal people’s benefit. However, the use of the internet and social media has cultivated libertarian thoughts in the minds of individuals born between 1996 and 2012 (Twenge 270). Most of these teenagers refuse to take instructions about marriage and worship programs from their parents. In addition, they neither get ensconced in political rallies nor buy the opinions from the government easily. Instead, online riots and activism are their preferences (Rodrigues 77). Thus, concentration in social media has made iGen’ers trust their decisions more than the instructions given by experienced people.

The obsessive use of social media by the iGen’ers has accelerated cases of mental health problems among them. There is an increase in depression among teenagers who spend time on social media platforms as an avenue of interacting with each other (Gonzalez 36). Mental disorders stem from bully actions and comparisons between individuals based on lifestyle and body forms online. The intention of creating Facebook and Instagram was not to perpetuate discriminatory interactions within these platforms (Twenge 94). However, teens utilize the internet extremely and get access to erotic websites, which influence their thoughts. Eventually, the ideas extracted from visual contents which stimulate their emotions get expressed in social media. Even though these platforms try to regulate the contents of messages conveyed between individuals, freedom of interaction limits their managers’ actions (Twenge 99). Therefore, social media use is detrimental to the mental health of iGen’ers.

The utilization of the internet and online socialization platforms by iGen’ers has resulted in irreligious tendencies in society. Many teenage Americans born between 1996 and 2012 rarely take chances in the worship services. Moreover, their dedication to prayers and intercession is limited (Rodrigues 77). The attention of youngsters is captivated by social media, and they spend a lot of time on online platforms, interacting with people from a far distance. The iGen’ers do not believe in God. Most of them have cultivated an attitude of relying on personal efforts for survival and not the supernatural power of the Almighty Being as their source of wellness. The contents from peers in Facebook, SnapChat and Instagram have made the current American teenagers view drunkenness, pre-marital sex, and luxury as avenues of transitioning from childhood into adulthood (Twenge 125). Thus, the reluctance of faith in God among iGen’ers correlates with internet and social media interactions.

Embracing Social Media by iGen’ers

Online networking platforms influence the opinion of people about their natural appearance. Globally, the physical outlook of an individual is dictated by the standards available in the digital settings of interaction. Especially, the iGen’ers are shaped by the diverse opinions constantly released on social networking sites. For instance, Instagram freely allows the consumers of its services to share three-dimensional pictures and videos through smartphones (Walker et al. 1). Most of the contents posted on its walls are visually oriented, making it attention-capturing social media. The viewers of videos and photos have the privilege to remark by giving their opinions on what they have seen. Eventually, a comparison of the body shape and attraction occurs as people interact. More often than expected, teenage girls get influenced, and their self-esteem gets lowered through the analytic comments they receive (Walker et al. 2). Therefore, embracing social media use tampers with the confidence iGen’ers should have through body-shaming opinions from other people.

Youngsters born between 1996 and 2012 should not venture into intensive use of social media since it initiates their tendencies of taking risky actions in life. Constant engagement in interactions through social networking sites cultivate negative thoughts among iGen’ers, making them desperate for the exclusive lifestyle of pleasure (Walker et al. 3). Through dissatisfaction and disaffection among individuals in social media, young girls venture into cosmetic use and surgical operations. The primary intention is to modify the body shape and outward appearance to get people pleased with their outlook. The health risks associated with cosmetic alterations are easily overlooked in stepping in body-shaping operations such as surgery, bleaching and application of dyes. On the other hand, teenage girls who are satisfied with their outlook appear resistant to influential remarks initiating potentially harmful use of cosmetics (Wang et al. 163). Therefore, social networking sites should not be indulged into by iGen’ers as the main platform of communication.

The utilization of social networking sites should not be embraced since it increases personality disorders among the iGen’ers. Young people tend to have a sense of superiority, engage in fantasies, and get involved in relationships with poor attention to each other’s interests. The feeling of self-worthiness is linked to the nature of what young people share on social media platforms about themselves (Wang et al. 164). The iGen’ers display a lot of activities they are carrying out in their online social networking accounts. The habit cultivated in exposing one’s programs and plans is to capture the attention of his or her followers in social media. The sense of self-competency is a personality disorder called narcissism. An individual often becomes mindless of another person’s value; instead, he or she ventures into self-promotion through digitally capture photos and videos (Wang et al. 166). The remarks obtained through comments and likes give their pages cultures an intrinsic sense of value while in the society. Thus, social media tampers with an individual’s reasoning to view mutual co-existence as more important than selfish interests.

The Benefits of Limiting Social Media Use among iGen’ers

Regulated use of social media is essential for appreciating the value of individual differences within society. At the time when the iGen’ers get involved in interactions via online platforms, they have not clearly distinguished their identities or defined who they are at the individual level (Barry et al. 5). At this stage, the digital ideologies easily sway them into being who they are, not through comparative analysis with other people. Moreover, they can easily get lured into fateful activities to their future prosperity, such as criminal offense, drug abuse and pre-marital sexual intercourse (Barry et al. 8). Having limited access to social media platforms would easily eradicate premature decisions and external influences, leading to risky actions and personality disorders.

Limited utilization of social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are directly linked with the development of intellectual skills in young people. When teenagers get ensconced in sending and receiving messages, watching videos, and getting excitement from what other people display, they lack enough time for creative thinking (Riehm et al. 1267). As a result, their abilities are not used, and their skills for innovation and personal development constantly deteriorate. However, with limited or complete quitting of social media, a young person is likely to begin thinking about what to engage in for personal benefit. It is easy for American teenagers to enrich their minds with vast knowledge in several sectors of education through reading and research. Moreover, they can comprehend ideas through reading books and become instrumental in shaping society’s political and economic sphere (Riehm et al. 1272). Limited interactions through social media, therefore, bear a positive life-changing impact on the iGen’ers.

References

Barry et al. “Adolescent Social Media Use and Mental Health from Adolescent and Parent Perspectives.” Journal of Adolescence, vol. 61, 2017, pp. 1-11.

Gonzalez, Cynthia B. iGen: Trends in Social Media use, Behaviors and Mental Health. Dissertation, New York University, 2020.

Riehm et al. “Association between Time Spent Using Social Media and Internalizing and Externalizing Problems among US Youth.” JAMA Psychiatry, vol. 76, no. 12, 2019, pp. 1266-1273.

Rodrigues, Joshan. “Smartphones: Fundamentally reshaping today’s Teenagers.” Church, Communication and Culture, vol. 3, no. 1, 2018, pp. 75-79. Web.

Twenge, Jean M. IGEN: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood – and What That Means for the Rest of Us. Atria Books, 2018.

Walker et al. “Effects Of Social Media Use on Desire for Cosmetic Surgery Among Young Women.” Current Psychology, 2019, pp. 1-10. Web.

Wang et al. “Social Networking Sites Addiction and Adolescent Depression: A Moderated Mediation Model of Rumination and Self-Esteem.” Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 127, 2018, pp. 162-167. Web.

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