Learn About It

Key Facts

Social media is the creation of content (like taking a photo of a sunset or your new puppy) and the sharing of it with others

  • there are benefits to this technology: keeping in touch with friends/family, coming together with likeminded individuals, raising awareness for causes you're passionate about

There are very few guard rails in the world of social media

  • because of their nature, social media companies can't actually control what is being posted and shared on their platforms— they can try to discourage it, that's all

  • 40% of kids age 13-17 say "it's normal for people my age to share nudes" (Thorn Research)

A team at Bark, the children’s online safety app, went undercover as an 11-year-old girl online to see how long it would take to be approached by a child predator.

  • the first chat message came in at 63 seconds

  • the first video call in under 5 minutes

There are three main algorithms that are seeking to maximize profit at all times: engagement, growth, and advertising

  • engagement objective: keep you on your device for as long as possible

  • growth objective: make you invite your friends to the platform and then your friends invite their friends and so on and so on

  • advertising objective: $$$

Gen Z was the first generation to get social media in middle school. Research suggests that on the whole we are more...

  • anxious

  • depressed

  • fragile

  • and less comfortable taking risks

  • rates of us getting drivers licenses are dropping

  • rates of us having any romantic interaction, even just one date, are also dropping

The Cost

  • Suicide rates in the US for girls age 10-14 were pretty stable up until 2010 (around when social media became available on mobile devices), but since then these rates have increased by 150%

  • The increase of hospital admissions for non-fatal self-harm for that same younger age group, 10-14, has nearly tripled since 2009

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Image by Adrian Swancar