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Gen Z Dropping Social Media Due to Toxic Culture

Gen Z is reshaping the Internet with its unique approach to social media

While many teenagers find themselves addicted to social media, a report published by Pew Research Center has shown data pointing towards a decrease in social media use since 2019.

The truth is that Gen Z uses each social media app less, and Instagram’s data reports have lent credibility to this statement. The only social media platform with increased, continued use is TikTok, which is the source of most centennials’ social media addiction. According to Forrester, weekly usage of TikTok surpassed that of Instagram in 2020.

Gen Z has grown with unlimited access to the Internet and has made them more critical of the quality and culture imposed by the apps they grew up with. “Like” culture, which emphasizes a fake persona where everyone’s living a wondrously charmed life through Instagram filters, is flatly unrealistic.

On top of that, Gen Z has lower attention spans than other generations, prompting the rise of clickbait posts left and right to hook them into companies’ content. This has left Gen Z disenchanted with YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

social media apps

Social Media Apps © Reuters

Then there’s the issue that these apps keep changing to please several different demographics, many of which are evolving with time. Instagram and Facebook are currently targeted towards millennials and older generations, but Gen Z is starting to grow and are flocking to TikTok instead of the Meta-owned social media giants.

The short-form aspect of TikTok delivers a seemingly endless trail of content for users, but it’s also considered more positive and wholesome than Instagram. It’s easier to express yourself when there’s less judgmental behaviour, particularly when compared to Instagram, which is notorious for being a judgemental platform. That’s not to say that TikTok isn’t without its troll and hater population, but one feels less attacked when the app went viral due to trends and dancing.

Instagram users tend to create finsta’s and second accounts on top of having the main account, which is usually also private. However, TikTok users rarely have a second TikTok. This is often because users are more concerned with privacy than they are with being superstars.

Gen Z is completely aware that Meta’s apps want to copy TikTok, and Instagram’s most recent attempt to implement a full-face feed backfired harshly, with even Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian criticizing Instagram for being copycats.

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