Tiktok, Google, Youtube and other social media platforms on the internet are causing children to mature much faster than previous generations.
Technology and social media are constantly innovating and advancing. Smartphones will keep evolving and social media platforms are here to stay.
Today, society is consumed by technology. It is inevitable that younger generations will be exposed to the content and knowledge of the internet.
According to a survey by Pew Research Center on millennials and hyperconnectivity, technology experts and stakeholders said millennials, “are learning more and they are more adept at finding answers to deep questions, in part because they can search effectively and access collective intelligence via the internet.”
The internet has been integrated as part of our everyday lives. We turn to the internet for entertainment, education and research. Future generations will not know a world where the internet did not exist.
By studying generations, you can get an idea of how fast a child is growing up now compared to earlier generations. The younger generation tends to spend more time communicating with friends electronically than in person and spending most of their free time on a screen.
On average, children from the ages 8-12 in the United States spend about 4-6 hours a day utilizing their screens while teens spend up to 9 hours, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP).
Today, it is the norm to see a child have a smartphone or iPad in their hands. I am even astonished how quickly these children are able to adapt to these devices and I grew up in a generation that was introduced to the internet at a fairly young age.
I remember growing up everyone had their “awkward phase” throughout their adolescent years. This is when kids, especially during their middle school to high school years, experience a time where they are finding what kind of person they want to be. This is a time when they can experimentwith how they look and dress.
However, it seems as though the younger generations completely skipped over this pivotal stage. Children are learning how to do their makeup, learning how to dress themselves and other skills previous generations took longer to learn.
I have witnessed my little cousins in middle school dressing up as 16-year-olds. I have also seen many younger social media influencers and young celebrities acting very mature for their age in the media, including Charlie D’amelio and Millie Bobby Brown.
Children are also growing up in a more liberating society than the previous generation grew up in.
From my point of view, being part of Gen Z, we grew up in a world that was more connected than ever before. Things that are now accepted like openly talking about mental health.
We grew up in a world where being different is normal and is often celebrated and discrimination is seen as something horrible. Weare more open about our views and opinions. We stand against social injustices that have taken place in previous generations.
This allows the younger generations to be more aware of the world around them which will help continue educating future generations.
However, there are drawbacks to having younger generations exposed to the internet. Kids are being exposed to inappropriate or harmful content on these social media platforms. That comes with being exposed to cyberbullies, predators, inappropriate content, and mental health issues, according to AACAP.
I believe it is crucial that children should maintain a positive and healthy usage of the internet with the proper guidance.
Generations are about cultural change and the internetisthe reason kids are growing up fast. With the imminent growth of technology and the accessibility to the internet, younger generations are introduced to new ideas and information that older generations were deprived of at that age.
Even though there may be downsides to what the internet has to offer, ultimately the internet will only better educate younger generations earlier on in their lives.