According to American psychologist Jean Twenge, smartphones and social media directly correlate with the rise in depression and self-harm among Gen Z. In 36 countries, including the U.S. and U.K., teens are much lonelier than they were 15 years ago. Not only that, but nearly 30% of American girls are clinically depressed, and the rate of suicide for 10-to-24-year-olds has tripled.
Social platforms promise connection but deliver loneliness and depression. That’s because, Twenge says, online interactions cannot replace face-to-face interactions. “Even my 16-year-old does not have social media” Twenge said. “She texts with her friends and calls them and that’s how they communicate.”
Setting aside it’s “a waste of time,” as Twenge’s daughter puts it, and the predatory pornography and terrible ideas that permeate social media, social media cannot carry the weight of real human connection. And, when we try, we are only left more isolated, more disconnected, and lonelier.
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