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Young people increasingly hate social networks

AmericaThree years of deleting apps like Facebook, Tiktok, Instagram… Gabriella Steinerman realized one thing, she didn’t need social networks.

The 20-year-old girl, who is studying economics, spent a long time selecting dozens of almost identical photos to share online. “It’s not the right thing to do. It’s obsessive and toxic behavior, but few people know about it because they think it’s normal,” Gabriella said.

A recent survey by investment bank Piper Sandler, USA shows that Instagram is losing its appeal to the next generation. Only 22% of respondents between the ages of 7 and 22 consider it their favorite app. Down 9%, compared to the same period in 2020.

In addition to Instagram, the applications that were once favored by Gen Z (the group of people born between 1997 and 2012), are now also becoming bland. A December 2021 Tallo poll found that only 4% of young people regularly use Facebook. While this rate in Twitter is 2%.

According to a Wall Street Journal analysis in 2021, Instagram is considered harmful to teenage girls. Many people report anxiety, fatigue and depression when receiving information from these apps.

Three friends Halle Kaufax, Hayden Ciampini and Cecilia Bracey (from left to right) have mixed feelings about social media.  Kaufax admitted to having a hot and cold relationship with TikTok.  Photo: Gabriele Holtermann

Halle Kaufax (left) and two friends Hayden Ciampini and Cecilia Bracey both admit they hate TikTok but can’t quit. Image: Gabriele Holtermann

Penn State University student Pat Hamrick gave up Instagram and Facebook two years ago, as self-doubt and guilt rose. “Social media makes me unconsciously compare myself to others. Over time, it’s become a hard habit to break,” said Pat.

The 22-year-old decided to delete the app and realize a better day-to-day life. Now he can focus on working and loving himself.

Also in Tallo’s survey, 56% of Gen Z said “social media makes them feel left out of their friends”. That’s why Olivia Eriksson, 21, a Columbia Chemical Engineering student, often has mixed feelings.

Olivia spends most of her time editing and posting beautiful photos on social networks. “There are times when I wonder what’s the point of doing that,” she said, adding that within six months, she repeatedly deleted and re-downloaded Instagram.

Except for those who are not brave enough to quit like Olivia, classmate Nicholas Mijares decided to delete Instagram or Tiktok. “I think people posting photos on social media are not simply sharing funny, funny things. I think they are on purpose to show off,” Nicholas said.

Halle Kaufax, 23, admits she gets caught up in non-stop videos on Tiktok and doesn’t have the courage to delete the app from her phone.

Dreaming of becoming an actress, Halle believes that being famous on Tiktok and having the opportunity to work with big brands is definitely a lever for her career. Wanting to have a large number of followers, she also regularly posts dancing and lip-syncing clips.

“I saw another girl with about 3,900 followers, 1,000 more than me, but received a large gift box sent by Dior to unbox. I was a little jealous, wondering “why not me”, this made me very concerned,” said Halle.

Experiences like Halle are very common. Three-quarters of the women polled said that social media easily makes them compare themselves to their peers.

Tim Lanten, 25, a student of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, also doesn’t download Tiktok because it entices young people to seek temporary fame.

Manny Srulowitz, 21, says that using Tiktok takes a long time. “The loop of the videos was in constant motion, the loud sound annoyed me. I didn’t like the way they worked, so I deleted them. I was about to delete Instagram for the same reasons,” Manny said.

In addition, spending less time on apps has a positive impact on life. “I have a lot of time to hang out with friends. I also don’t have FOMO when away from social networks,” he said.

But some Gen Zers didn’t even intend to use social media in the first place, like Tzali Evans, a 22-year-old student at Cooper Union.

“I believe that face-to-face meetings and sharing are definitely more valuable than interactions on social networks,” Evans said.

Minh Phuong (According to the New York Post)

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