Gen Z is social distancing — from social media.
Zoomers are known for being glued to their phones, but some twenty-somethings are taking a stand against all-consuming apps such as TikTok and Instagram. Calling them “toxic” and “obsessive,” these young people say they’re regaining control of their time by stepping away from the scroll.
And the anti-app wave seems to be catching on — new research reveals that Instagram is losing its grip on the next generation. According to a recent survey commissioned by investment bank Piper Sandler, only 22% of respondents between the ages of 7 and 22 named Meta’s popular photo-sharing platform as their favorite app, down from 31% in spring 2020.
“When you delete it you realize you don’t need it,” 20-year-old Gabriella Steinerman told The Post. The economics major dumped both Instagram and TikTok back in 2019, and said the relief she felt after unplugging was almost immediate.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal last year, Facebook found that Instagram is harmful to teen girls and exacerbates body image issues, anxiety and depression, but downplayed the significance of those internal studies.
Penn State senior Pat Hamrick also ditched Instagram and Facebook two years ago, when he felt himself getting caught up in comparisons.
Social media, he said, “had me subconsciously comparing myself to others and it really ate at me. I was asking myself, ‘Am I doing the right things, am I having the right kind of fun?’”
So the now-22-year-old took action, getting away from the ‘gram for the sake of his mental health.
He’s noticed a huge improvement in his mood: “[Leaving Instagram] made me feel better in day-to-day life, I’m just doing my thing, my way.”