SOCIAL ISSUES

Examining the dangers of Generation Z’s social media habit

BY Leah Mishkin, Correspondent |

A Teaneck workshop Friday examined the effects of social media on Generation Z – people 9 to 24 years old, who don’t know a time without it.

Led by Somerset County Crisis Intervention Specialist Olamide Margarucci, parents, providers and educators tackled topics regarding the relationship of constant social media usage to insecurity, anxiety and depression in young people.

“We should be more aware of the negative effects of social media,” said Margarucci. “That there’s a lot of positives in place to connect, but we need to be thinking about how much time young people are spending on their phones.”

According to the National Center for Health Research, people who visited social media platforms 58 times or more per week were three times more likely to feel socially isolated. The center also found that heavy social media users are 2.2 times more likely to have eating and body image issues than moderate users.

Margarucci says young girls especially are grappling with body image issues, stemming from what they see online, and feeling pressure to share images of themselves.

The workshop also featured a discussion about a parent’s role in helping teens see life beyond the screen, and if need be, setting boundaries and having parental control apps in place.