Gen Z has Taken Over Social Media

By Danelly Rodriguez, Staff Writer

   There are a total of 2,843 Miami Senior High School students and many of them are on TikTok and Instagram. 


Positive impacts of social media  

     Adolescents nowadays depend on social media platforms to make connections to the world whether it is posting their personal lifestyle or keeping up with others. They describe social media positively as a source of information, entertainment, confidence, and validation.  

     Social media is a way to communicate with one another and to gain inspiration. Adolescents value social media because they find it entertaining and addicting because social media is centered around the things they like in your fyp (for you page).  


    Saeed Ramos, a senior, said that his favorite platforms are Instagram and TikTok, where he sees a variety of things that are going on with news and things that gain his interest. He also said, “If you post, it’ll be a kind of time capsule to store all of your memories, which benefits me by keeping me entertained.” Saeed is on social media whenever he has the time to keep up with his favorite shows, bands, edits, and fashion. 

    Sophomore Shawn Manjarres also likes Instagram and TikTok to keep up with fashion trends and music. He points out, “I’ve learned to not believe everything I read or hear.” On the plus side, he said social media benefits his health because he likes to make breakfast and enjoys making anything, especially apple pancakes or egg salad with avocado toast.  

    Another sophomore Abigail Reyes likes how social media makes her feel like she has left reality.“When I do TikTok’s or take pictures and upload a song with it, before posting it, I feel as if I am getting into character, as if it is a way of expressing myself. It does not make me insecure because I do not let it. We are not supposed to look or be perfect so why act like we must?” She also enjoys getting to see her family and friends post what they might be doing.  



      Precious Rivera, a first-year student, also finds security and validation from social media. She mostly finds the content on TikTok funny and a way to learn how to cook. 

     Emily Candelario, a sophomore, likes how social media helps her understand what she wants for her career paths and keeps her informed with what is happening around her. She said, “You can gain new relationships, which could lead to meeting important people, such as making business moves or gaining popularity.”  

    Joshua Johnson, another sophomore, says, “I’m mostly there for the funny content and entertainment but I might benefit if I need business deals from Instagram sponsors or to learn football techniques from YouTube and TikTok.” 

     Dereck Fajardo, a sophomore, says that social media makes him feel good about himself. He said, “I learn a lot on social media; it just depends on who you follow. It also helps me learn my limits and what I can achieve. I do not feel insecure if I see a good body on Instagram or anyone in shape. Instead, it inspires me to be better and aspire to have the lifestyle I want.”  


Negative impacts on social media  

      However, many people believe social media is a disease in Gen Z and it affects their brain negatively with too much dopamine, later causing mental health issues and insecurity bringing the inner self-confidence low.  

     Social media can cause anxiety that can affect social skills by replacing direct contact with their peers. It can also cause negative impacts on self and body images. These actions can lead to lack of interest in physical actions outside of social media, creating isolation, addiction, or even worse depression.  


     Samantha Torres, a junior, stated, “I am not insecure but sometimes you find yourself comparing yourself wishing you looked like another person. It is like an addiction: once you get it, you are on it always. It is a waste of time and creates insecurities and trouble because you see something and you do it, but it ends up being bad.”  

   Shawn Manjarres said, “I truly do love myself, but sometimes social media reminds me how people have used me for my body or just entertainment and I’ve only ever had one true relationship.” He believes TikTok can be detrimental to a student’s health because of the videos displayed on their fyp with a caption saying his friends have wronged him in the past or saying things that are untrue to make him overthink such as, “You’re being cheated on,” “Your crush doesn’t like you back,” “Your best friend backstabbed you,” or descriptions that relate to your situations. 

    Senior Alexander Rivas stated, “Social media does make me insecure half of the time because of other people I see.” This displays how social media can affect adolescents negatively by comparing their image with others who access these platforms. 

    Mia Gomez, a sophomore, finds hatred and insecurity from social media because it can isolate a person. “It gives you confidence for three minutes,” she said. “Then it goes away and makes you feel insecure about yourselves when you are lacking validation.” 

     Emily Candelario said, “Social media makes me feel overwhelmed because it can be toxic at times, mostly because everyone is trying to be like each other now.”  

    Alex Abad, a sophomore, believes adolescents value social media so greatly because they lack maturity. He feels it will hold him back because the platforms can be toxic.