You may think Gen Z is all bad dance moves and Fortnite, but Dr. Emily Weinstein, a Ph.D. research fellow at Harvard University, has the most positive view on today’s kids. This week on our Diet Starts Tomorrow Podcast, we had Dr. Weinstein discusses with us the impacts social media can have on peoples’ mental health, specifically kids grades 8-12. Unlike most doctors and old people, she actually has a lot of hope that social media, in fact, won’t rot the youths’ brains and subsequently make social interactions a thing of the past. Instead, social media has the power to connect kids to each other, communities they identify with, and social change movements. That being said, there’s still a lot of bad sh*t going down, but you’ll have to listen to find out. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation with Dr. Weinstein:
- Social media does not automatically equal more depression, it’s seriously not as clear-cut as you think
- It’s not about the amount of time you spend on social media, but what you’re actually doing on it. Are you stalking your ex’s new girlfriend or are you scrolling mindlessly through a Kar-Jenner kids fan page?
- Instagram knows when you zoom in on photos to check if that pic was actually Facetuned
- Instagram also knows when you linger way too long on that girl from your SoulCycle class’s engagement pics
- The more you engage with certain content on Instagram (even if you don’t press like) the more Instagram will show you it, even if it makes you feel like sh*t
- Weinstein has focused a lot of her research on understanding the value kids place on Snapchat streaks (spoiler alert: these are legit life-and-death matters)
- Instagram bios are basically the new AIM away message
- Boys who play Fortnite probably have PIU’s (you’ll have to listen to find out what this acronym stands for)
- Social media can actually help kids who are feeling depressed or alone
Check out the full Diet Starts Tomorrow episode below to hear Dr. Weinstein’s full segment.
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