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January 1, Gen Z’s Struggle with the Digital Blues



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Recent studies indicate a worrying trend among America’s Generation Z, as rates of depression and hopelessness have seen a dramatic rise in the past decade. At the heart of this disconcerting shift, according to psychologist and generational expert, Dr. Jean Twenge, is the pervasive influence of social media and excessive screen time.

A poll conducted by the University of Michigan reveals that roughly half of American teens now agree with statements reflecting self-doubt and negativity, a two-fold increase from ten years ago. This rise has coincided with the explosion of social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, suggesting a strong correlation between online activity and mental well-being.

In a notable departure from traditional teenage activities, an increasing number of teens are now forgoing experiences such as dating, obtaining a driver’s license, and working for pay. This change in behavior, Twenge posits, stems from the ubiquity of smartphones, which have effectively transformed how teens spend their leisure time.

While the effects of the ongoing pandemic have undoubtedly aggravated existing issues within Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2012), Twenge asserts that the adolescent mental health crisis cannot be solely attributed to the pandemic. Additionally, the increasingly tense political climate, coupled with economic uncertainty, has contributed to a sense of disillusionment and pessimism among this generation.

Particularly troubling is the sharp increase in self-harm hospitalizations among young people, which has soared by a staggering 163% in the last decade. Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death among young Americans. Girls seem to be bearing the brunt of this trend, potentially due to the intensifying social competition on platforms like Instagram, where followers and likes have become a measure of social status.

In response to this crisis, Dr. Twenge advocates delaying the introduction of smartphones and social media to young people as long as possible, and even suggests raising the minimum social media age to 16. This is not just an issue for individual families, she asserts, but a societal concern requiring collective action. With the fabric of American youth’s mental health at stake, the need for an effective response has never been more urgent.




  1. Tom

    June 24, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    Amazing! China limited children game and social media time to three hours a week and they were bashed by everyone in the West. Now this article wants to do the same! LOL

  2. Collateral Damage

    June 24, 2023 at 3:01 pm

    What do you expect when public education trains kids to be stupid.

  3. Stephen

    June 24, 2023 at 8:56 pm

    By definition a father is a male parent. This means someone who is pregnant and identifies as a man is dishonest because she is a woman and is not a father no matter what she says she is. A man who identifies as a woman is also dishonest and he can never conceive and give birth. Of course not every woman is capable of conceiving and that does not make them less of a woman than those capable of conceiving. The point here is that fathers are the male parent and mothers are the female parent.

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