Generation Z has a lot to look forward to in the years to come. From advancements in technology to the rising economic spectrum, Generation Z will be given anything they want and more. However, what good does that really do?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA) report “Stress in America,” Generation Z has been reported to have the most mental health concerns out of all the other generations. According to the report, 45% of Generation Z is least likely to report to have very good or excellent mental health.
Additionally, psychologist and CEO of the APA, Arthur Evans, said in Andrea Diaz’s article on CNN “this generation may be more tuned in to recognizing issues with their mental health than older generations.”
Well, to be completely honest, it does not surprise me that this is the case. In a world of social media, Generation Z has a constant yearning and desire for the most likes and recognition, hence why they tend to only post the good in their lives. With this idea of popularity, it makes people compete to see whose life is better, failing to see the true authentic self of the people behind the screen.
With this tendency to post only happy and joyous pictures and videos on various social media platforms, the authenticity of the people who are posting these images is declining. Let’s think about it for a second: When was the last time someone posted something on Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter telling you about the bad day that they had?
This, of course, does not pertain to posts about the loss of someone or the death of a figure one appreciates greatly, such as Stan Lee fans and fans of other well-known celebrities.
Although it may seem like the overuse of social media could be a bad thing, there is also some obvious good that comes from it. Whether it be staying connected to friends who are across the country or staying up to date to the news, social media has the opportunity to give positive mental health to others, but it is up to Generation Z to decide if they want to use social media for good or not.
When looking at the APA survey, one of the statistics that caught my eye was the amount of care in which Generation Z has for issues going on around the world. According to the APA survey, “Gen Z members are also more stressed than adults overall about other issues in the news, such as the separation and deportation of immigrant and migrant families (57% of Gen Z versus 45% of all adults reported the issue is a significant source of stress) and sexual harassment and assault reports (53% versus 39%).”
Why is this the case? I believe it to be because of social media as I mentioned prior. Since Generation Z is more up to date with social media than any of the other generations, they are able to see these events first, allowing them to respond right when the event happens at the touch of a button.
With this, Generation Z creates multiple hashtags and social media movements that bring other generations into the conversation. From #NotMyPresident to most recently #InAWorldWithNoTwitter, Generation Z has the power to control what the rest of the world knows at their fingertips.
So, what does all of this have to do with mental health? Generation Z exposes their emotions to the rest of the social media world through these kind of events, choosing to express their opinion through social media rather than sitting down and creating dialogue to make improvements on the situation at hand. This is not a bad route to go, but having conversations in person about controversial topics will make solving the issue more efficient.
Vinny Saglimbeni is a contributor.