Social media, the scourge of adolescence

Social media, the scourge of adolescence
Image by Thomas Ulrich from Pixabay

“I think it’s training our brains to be fine with being overstimulated. Like it is severely lowering our attention spans.”

That’s how 15-year-old Elsie Fisher, star of the new movie “Eighth Grade”, described the impact social media has had on her generation, when questioned by CBS News Correspondent Tracy Smith.

“Especially now, it feels so strenuous to just sit down for 20 minutes and just do nothing and think. And the Internet gives you an escape from your thoughts, which might not always be good.”

i-GEN is the name San Diego State Professor Jean Twenge, author of a new book by that title, gives to this adolescent generation which she says has “grown really comfortable with spending a lot of time on social media and texting, but they don’t spend as much time with their friends face-to face.”

Teachers will tell her anecdotally:

“You know, I love this generation, but I’m surprised how many of them will not look me in the face.”

Twenge recognizes that “kids do use these technologies for a lot of good things, so the key is limited use.” To her that means only two hours a day online.

When Fisher was asked by Tracy Smith if she thinks the Internet does more to connect us or adds to feelings of loneliness, the 15-year-old replied:

“It was made to connect us, but more than anything, it has made us more self-obsessed and that just leads to loneliness and getting too much in your own brain.”

Let us know what you think.

CBS News, 7/15/18

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