Social media responsible for dividing Americans, especially teens

Jacob Stacey ’21

Social media is the monster we never saw coming. According to Mayo Clinic, “97% of people from ages 13-17 use some form of social media.” 

     Many platforms, such as Snapchat, favored by 34% of teens, Tik Tok, favored by 29% of teens, and Instagram, favored by 25% of teens, has something different to offer, engrossing its users with pictures, videos, and tweets. 

     Unfortunately, social media also divides our country. People hide behind screens to write harsh and controversial comments to aggravate those who may disagree. 

     Along with comments that are meant to divide people, comments and posts get directed towards individuals with the intent of hurting and demeaning others. Social media allows users to let out emotions they would never release face to face with someone, only cowardly saying it behind the safety of their screen. 

     Many posts on platforms such as Tik Tok and Instagram break out into fights in the comment section. These arguments are unhealthy and unproductive for our society and country. Although some of these disputes are sparked by controversial ideas, some are generated through what many view as the oversensitive Gen-Z community

Many common apps used by teenagers on a cellphone – Kevin Leconte via Wikimedia Commons

     Recently, the Gen-Z community has been notorious for their responses to videos and posts regarding politics or controversial jokes about race and sex. Many of the comments are solely commented or posted to try and hurt others. 

     Other generations call Gen-Z rude and sensitive because of their handling of sexist, racist, and cruel comments online, when instead of being kind to others, they put themselves first and only escalate the problem.

     Many simple solutions to social media fights and the division of our country are possible. One easy fix can be to keep scrolling through your social media feed and ignore the issue or topic that upsets you. 

     Instead of starting hate on posts and comments, people can just scroll past and ignore the problem, creating more peace and less negativity. Another solution is to have a civilized, educated conversation or debate. 

Social media hostility further divides the younger generation of our country, but if people had conversations using facts and listening to others, the disease plaguing our country might start to subside. 

     The Gen-Z community and users of social media need to understand how to respect others’ opinions and educate themselves to have constructed debates with people, without causing more division amongst Americans. 

     Respecting and understanding others are the first steps to a more united country.

Author: Jacob Stacey '21

Jacob Stacey ‘21 is a student in the journalism seminar. He is an avid reader of journalism pieces involving sports, politics, and other student opinions. Stacey works with the admissions office, giving tours to prospective students and families seeking to enroll at Haverford. Stacey is a member of the baseball team and does strength and conditioning with Coach Rosko in the offseason.