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Social media caused Gen. Z and Millennials to be out of touch with reality

Social media caused Gen. Z and Millennials to be out of touch with reality

Social media caused Gen. Z and Millennials to be out of touch with reality
September 28
12:00 2020

In today’s climate of social media, Generation Z and Millennials have negatively been affected by social media leading to harm their perception of what the real world is like away from Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

There’s a common stereotype today that perceives “old people” (mainly Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation) as folks who are out of touch and they’re not keeping up with the times. Almost as if they’re John Lithgow’s preacher character from the 1984 film Footloose.

Meanwhile, on the flip side Generation Z and Millenials are viewed as the cool kids on the block because they’re in most of the social media sphere and created other recent internet phenomena.

When the phrase “OK boomer” hit the internet in 2019, I immediately knew young people were just as blind to reality as their older counterparts. Social media and the internet age ruined the senses of reality among teenagers, college-aged and young adults by ignoring real-life’s flaws when you take away the cell-phones and smart devices.

One of the biggest phenomena created on social media by young people is virtue signaling to gain attention. There are countless times I’ve seen my peers pretend to be active in social issues and movements to get likes or a larger following. You see it all the time, people feel like they’re morally superior because they’re ‘woke’.

Now I get it, when you get the attention it feels good and why turn it down?

There’s an old saying I was raised on that can apply to this same scenario, “people with a lot of money don’t show off their wealth because they don’t need to”. The same goes for people who think they’re morally superior by being woke. The people who make the biggest differences and care about social issues don’t need validation from other people.

Another issue young people created in social media is the unrealistic beauty standards. When I say unrealistic beauty standards, I don’t mean the good ole’ days where you picked up a magazine and saw Gisele Bündchen or Tyson Beckford on the cover. The modern beauty standards in Instagram’s realm is to be perfect within every single bone structure in your body.

It’s so ridiculous that it’s cringeworthy to see models and influencers post their edited pictures to such a standard that no living person could ever come close to that. The filters and editing software are so advanced you can instantly look like another person. Keep in mind, when you see pictures of any of the Jenners or Kardashians (or other celebrities), they use more than just a cell phone.

They have millions to hire professional photographers, editors and other image consultants to maximize the potential looks. So don’t feel too bad if you don’t look exactly like them.

For men, it’s hard to see pages like Gym Shark showing guys with big arms or pec muscles. There are even times I wonder if I need to be in the gym 24 hours a day to be that muscular.

The bar has been set so high for what people are supposed to look like this day in age on social media, it can lead to serious insecurity issues. Just know what people look like on Instagram or Facebook isn’t always accurate.

For platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram hiding behind your phone to talk smack is one thing young people are susceptible to because they know they can get away with it. Where this might have originated from is online gaming. If you ever played games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare, you’re well aware of the curse words and savagery that came with people who used a headset.

Social media is an open game to spread rumors, false information or flat out just disrespect someone. There are no consequences if you do something like that, meaning it can only create bad habits. If you won’t say those things in person out loud, you shouldn’t say them on social media.

The older folks can’t be too out of touch with reality compared to younger people if this is a new way of life, right? Maybe they made a smart decision in staying away from social media platforms to use the younger people as guinea pigs.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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Preston Rios

Preston Rios

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