We read Stephanie’s perspective of social media, inspired by Netflix’s “The Social Dilemma.” We aimed to cover angles from different generations, so here’s mine, a Zillenial.
Those of us born from about 1993 – 1998 feel too old to relate to Gen Z, and too young to relate to millennials. I’m not sure exactly what that makes us, but some call us Zillenials. UrbanDictionary.com defines us Zillenials as: “the last years of millennials and the first years of Generation Z with mixed traits of both generations.” All I know is I am very happy to have grown up before smartphones and social media were the norm.
For us, Instagram and Facebook started out featuring posts starring 2000’s cringe-worthy fashion. Lots of “duck faces.” And any thought that happened to cross our minds. Social media evolved since Zillenials joined over a decade ago. But I often think about how thankful I am that it wasn’t necessarily our norm growing up. We may not have initially known about all the data these platforms were constantly gathering. But we did understand the importance of what you post on the internet, and the possible lasting implications.
Having a somewhat unique perspective of social media, I recognize the immense benefit it can play in our lives. Yet on the other hand, I also acknowledge its repercussions. I’ve witnessed first hand social media being tied to the self-worth and mental health of people my age and younger.
And the ways that these big corporations systematically target and exploit the popularity of social media can definitely be scary. However, piggy-backing off Stephanie’s post, I do believe all of these apps were made with good intentions. You cannot fault companies for using available information to expand and solidify their positions of power. BUT, I do believe the most important factor in practicing safe social media use for kids is parental observation. I believe parents have to know and keep an eye on what kids are doing online (at least until a certain age, of course).
Living in 2020, we have become used to having more information and knowledge in our pockets than any person throughout history. Smartphones are important. They make us feel safe whenever we need GPS, when we’re traveling, and when we need to check in with our loved ones. Social media, in my opinion, has its pros and cons.
Have you watched The Social Dilemma yet? Thoughts?