It is no surprise to anyone that social media has taken all our time, attention, and energy. While we know that most Zoomers (and Millennials) cannot be physically separated from their phones, there’s a group of 20-somethings that are rebelling against social media and any and all apps that require so much time and attention, calling them out for being toxic and obsessive. This group is reclaiming their own time and walking away from all-consuming social media apps.
This trend of moving away from demanding social media apps appears to be spreading. According to a recent study commissioned by investment bank Piper Sandler, Instagram is losing ground with Millennials. Apparently, only 22% of respondents aged 7 to 22 picked the well-known photo-sharing app operated by Meta as their favorite app, down from 31% in spring 2020.
From personal experience, around 8 months ago, I decided to cut back on time spent on Instagram. And one of the things I realized is that when you limit your use of the app, you realize that you really don’t need it, and your life is not really better or worse for using it. The relief I felt after unplugging was incomparable.
I realized that the distance I took from the apps made me more present in my real life, and able to form better friendships. Not only did my mental health improve, but I was able to have more meaningful connections with the world.
Many studies and reports have previously shown that Facebook and Instagram are actually harmful to teenagers, especially when it comes to mental health, body issues, anxiety, and depression. This makes it so this move away from social media feels more organic and natural.
Though it seems that Gen-Zers are moving away from the usual social media apps, there are other options that allow them to remain online but not necessarily as plugged. BeReal is one of these apps. Launched in 2020, it recently gained popularity because it only allows users a 2-minute window of time to post non-filtered and unedited snapshots throughout the day. The app was downloaded 1.1 million times in February by Zoomers and young Millennials, suggesting that college students are becoming more interested in it.
This movement is not only propelling Zoomers to get off Instagram and Facebook, but some of them are also extending the same concerns about TikTok, which seems to be mostly popular amongst that generation.
In case you missed it, we answer the question of whether people with no social media are hotter so you don’t have to.
Photo via Carla Kessler for The New York Times