How does Gen Z feel about social media?

By Jordyn Porter 

Gen Z is the first generation to grow up entirely with social media. Because of this, people generally view social media through a negative lens due to its impact on teenagers. 

90 percent of Gen Z adults aged 18-24 report that they use social media, according to CivicScience. 

According to this article, most Gen Zers spend at least 60 to 80 percent of their time on social media apps such as YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok. 

That amount of time has led people to wonder if social media is good for Gen Z. Sharay Ashton, whose daughter uses social media frequently, said that social media has had a positive impact on her life, but it can be addictive for teenagers. 

“I think social media can be positive for teenagers if they utilize it for resources as well as engaging with friends and sharing memories,” she said. “However, constant exposure to social media can overstimulate the brain and possibly trigger pathways that are nonetheless comparable to addiction. But social media doesn’t affect all teens the same way.” 

Yasmine Bouchamla, a student at Annandale High School, said that though social media has some good qualities, she ultimately thinks the apps are negative. “I think it made me less social and more anxious,” she said. 

“It’s good for some things but bad when it is overly used, especially since there’s a wide range of users with different opinions and different age groups,” she continued. 

Jordyn Williams, another student at Coolidge High School, also agreed that social media has both a positive and negative influence, but she identified more with its positive aspects.


“Social media has had both a negative and positive impact on my life. I have been able to make great friends and learn many things, but things like unrealistic beauty standards really did have a slight impact on me,” she said. 

“I do think social media is good for teenagers as it opens good aspects we can use later on.” 

Vanessa Falcon, a parent, said that she thinks social media does a good job of connecting people, but can create unrealistic expectations. 

“Social media can connect people but at the same time, I also think people just post the good moments of their lives. They don’t share the struggles — it’s unrealistic.” She also stated that she believes social media does more harm than good. 

According to mental health experts, social media “traps” users in an endless loop of scrolling. “One result of trapping users into endless scrolling loops is that it can lead to social comparison … frequent and extreme upward social comparison,” which can lead to a number of negative side-effects such as erosion of self-esteem, depressed mood, and decreased life satisfaction.” 

However, Keari Ashton-Fox, a student at Bard High School Early College in Southeast D.C., said she believes social media has a positive impact because it connects people. 

“Most teenagers become friends through social media,” she said. Terra Bangura, an adult, explained that the impact of social media depends on what type of person you are — and that everyone can have their own experiences. 

“Social media only has the impact that you give it. With that being said, social media can have many types of impact because it is reaching many types of people.” 

She also said, “It has helped me tremendously over the years. Social media has been a big help for me, and I’m sure it can help you too, but I must say it definitely has its downsides.”


Founded in 1975, the Washington Association of Black Journalists is an organization of Black journalists, journalism professors, public relations professionals and student journalists in the D.C., metro area. WABJ provides members with ongoing professional education opportunities and advocates for greater diversification of the profession.