Social Media Has Changed My Generation


Tatiana Joseph-Saunders, Culture Reporter

I know, I know, this seems like an intense statement. But if you really think about it, it’s what everyone has been saying. People of all generations, ages, and backgrounds have stated time and time again that “Social media wasn’t like this when I was growing up”, “You guys [Millennials or Gen Z] get everything to know from your phones”, or some variation of “I don’t know what I’d do if I grew up with Instagram, like you guys are”.


Whether you’re in elementary school growing up with access to iPads and accounts on media platforms or you’re a college student tweeting about the latest struggles of Zoom University- the sheer volume of opinions and thoughts one is subjected to via social media is crazy.


I think it is pretty clear that social media has changed a generation. Thanks to Twitter and Instagram, the line of contact between myself and my favorite actress or singer is thinner than ever before. Not only does the lessening degrees of separation apply to celebrities, but also to politicians and those who decide what type of country we live in.


This brings me to my first point- I think that social media has definitely made more and more young people aware of how to change the world, through channels not previously thought of. Whether that’s encouraging your peers to vote, or starting campaigns to bring justice to those you think the legal system has failed, or just having the initiative to research your local senator or state/city/county representative.


I believe this is a good thing because I cannot imagine why becoming more knowledgeable about the laws and policies that affect you and your fellow citizens would be bad. Having social media in the hands of those aware of their political surroundings also curates the environment to have intellectual discourse about policies and social justice. I think the more conversations people have about their opposing views, the better. Whether or not you agree with whatever hashtag is trending or whichever politician is being called out for their mistakes; having kids, teenagers and young adults politically aware and educated will make for a better world for everyone.


Circling back to having an easier way to stay up to date on your favorite celebrity, social media has now made it easier than ever to realize your favorite actor and singer is human too… Especially when it comes to making mistakes or being flat out ignorant and loud about it. There have been countless YouTubers, Tik Tokers, TV celebrities and more that have been exposed for their ignorant or offensive remarks, actions, or even lack thereof. I think humanizing celebrities and changing them from idols to humans in one’s mind is healthy. It can also be educational for all parties involved, having a conversation about why something someone did is wrong lessens the likelihood for future issues.


One of the more alarming things, in my opinion, is how easy it has been for myself to be desensitized to a lot of violent, gory depressing, or just shocking things due to the media (of all kinds). While I definitely consume other types of media, more traditional types like movies, tv shows, the news, etc. social media often has the unadulterated, explicit version of everyday things. Whether it’s crime and someone getting killed or assaulted on camera, or seeing disgustingly offensive statements from people who feel protected by the anonymity their keyboard provides.

All of it, rarely makes me raise a brow nowadays. A few weeks ago, there was a video going around on Tik Tok of a man committing suicide. Yes. You read that correctly. This poor man’s life had been reduced for a Tik Tok that was getting viewed thousands of times, his last moments memorialized in such an explicit and unapologetic manner. When situations like that happen I am reminded of how normal all of this is to me and my generation, but how terrifying this amount of access sounds to those who did not grow up with the world at their fingertips.


All of this is to say, social media has changed generations. Whether it’s for the better or the worse, that’s up to you. Through it’s educating young people on politics, helping them realize that those they see on tv are no better or worse than them, or becoming desensitized to a very scary world- my generation and other young people have flipped what to expect, thanks to technology.