NEW GEN Z 101: Unlock & Outlast Microtrends

Gen Z has grown up on the internet and spent half their lives on it, but many are getting fed up and forming movements to promote healthier usage and hold Big Tech accountable. 

May 06 2022

Gen Z has grown up on the internet and spent half their lives on it, but many are getting fed up and forming movements to promote healthier usage and hold Big Tech accountable. YPulse’s recent social media behavior report found that Gen Z spends around 4 hours on social media each day on average. And according to JAMA Pediatrics research, 10-14-year-olds reported an average of 3.8 hours per day of screen time, excluding school work—but the figure rose to 7.7 hours in May 2020. While many teens feel like social media kept them entertained and up to date with what was happening in the world, some started to feel more anxious and depressed as time went on. Emma Lembke, a 19-year-old freshman from Washington University, decided to take action by starting the LOG OFF movement in 2020 to create space for teens to talk about healthier usage of social media. Lembke initially created a blog for talking about the negative impacts social media had on her life, but found that her friends were facing the same problems. So far, the movement has engaged with thousands of teens across dozens of countries, with many worried about leaving their mental health up to the hands of Big Tech. Lembke also teamed up with Brown University student Aliza Kopans to form Tech(nically) Politics, another youth-led organization dedicated to pushing for regulation of Big Tech, and throwing their support behind the Kids Internet Design and Safety Act (KIDS Act) that was reintroduced last fall. (CBS News)