The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Gen Z is Getting Older, Younger

Photo By Angela Huang
Teenagers look at their phones after a long bike ride. While riding their bikes, the group decided to take a break to go on their phones.

What truly makes a tween these days? Back in the 2010s, tweens were children who were in the gray area before becoming teenagers. Now in 2020, is there even such a thing? 

There’s a very good chance that this in-between is almost gone and replaced by the influence of social media. 

One thing that might affect this phenomenon is the fast-paced information that teens can acquire on the internet. Trends and information now travel faster than ever and farther into the younger ages – possibly allowing teens to grow at a faster rate than kids beforehand.

William Felicano, a student at Aviara Oaks Middle School, points out that limitless access to information online can give a false sense of maturity, which might give a sense of wiseness when it comes to the outside world. 

Freshman Sam Carroll scrolls through her phone. Even in class, teens still manage to stay connected. (Photo By Angela Huang)

“We know what is happening in our current world, allowing us to be more aware of our surroundings and not being vulnerable unlike kids back in the days,” Felicano said. “Now we have the resources to news outlets about the world or even just little things that are happening other than the newest Barbie movies.” 

With the ever-present world at the tips of fingers, it’s also a possibility that seeing different people and personalities has encouraged the self-awareness that teens have. When social media first came about, it used to be about chatting with strangers online; now, not only is it about being social online it’s also a competition of anything from looks to humor. This sets of standards can be dangerous but helpful when regulated accordingly. 

Sage Creek freshman Sofia Vallone acknowledges that social media is a place that needs to be supervised and managed individually. While the internet is filled with everything bad and good, it’s important to remember to find things that are uplifting. 

“I make sure that the majority of the time social media is making me feel good, inspired and uplifted, but there are times when social media negatively affects me,” Vallone said. “I used to be negatively affected by social media because I felt like I was being held up to a standard whether it was a physical, mental, emotional or social standard.”

With social media having both beneficial and detrimental impacts, it’s not the same for media like TV shows. Back in the 2000s, a lot of the shows that were popular were kid-friendly. With one Google search on what teens watch today, it’s evident that the content is for mature audiences.

A mix of Carlsbad and Sage Creek students spectate at Carlsbad’s football game–usually a social media and socialization hot spot. On Friday nights, instagram it is filled with the night’s events like the game. (Photo By Angela Huang)

Aviara Oaks Middle student Stanley Huang is concerned with the impacts the media has on teens. 

“I mean personally, I don’t really care but that’s kind of because I’ve been online my whole life,” Huang said. “However, I can see that shows like Euphoria have an impact whether it’s good or bad, I think all shows in general affect teens in some way. Even if you think it doesn’t.”

Mature content in the TV show “Euphoria” is centered on drugs, almost romanticizing addiction and laminating the possibility that teens these days are truly impacted or even inspired by these shows. When “Euphoria” first aired, the fashion and makeup of the series began a trend globally–it’s probably not too far to say that the actions presented in the episodes could’ve translated into influences as well. 

Teens now definitely have a leg up compared to teens a few years ago.  It’s now evident that in a way teens have traded a little part of their childhood for the internet. Teens now have to regulate the things they read and watch themselves, not to mention everything that is going on in the world as well. 

It is to no one’s surprise that Gen Z and the generations coming forward have definitely grown a lot faster than the older generations.

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