Generation Z and The Media

March 14, 2020


One would have thought there was a treasure trove in the back of the library at Cherry Hill East the day of the Kavanaugh hearings, but in fact, it was just a TV playing CNN. Generation Z’s relationship with media has drastically changed this election. No longer does America’s youngest generation crowd around a TV in anticipation of the 6 p.m. news, now, news articles and videos are being consumed in classrooms, lunchrooms and the library at the touch of a button or click of a remote.

First, some statistics: a whopping 95 percent of teens have access to a smartphone, according to a Pew Reseach Poll meaning that news alerts can reach a vast majority of Generation Z teens. In that same poll, 16 percent of teens who reported that social media was a positive influence on their life said that they used social media mostly for news. This social media presence has influenced the midterm elections. Celebrities such as Taylor Swift have utilized social media to get out the vote.

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I think the greatest difference between our generation and others is the way in which we are getting our news. We are the generation that lived with the internet at our fingertips. Cellphones… computers… internet technology, it’s all available to us for pretty much all of our lives. So with all of that information available to us constantly, our nation has the ability to be one of the most educated generations going into elections. We can very easily read about all of the candidates and all the current issues. But the one issue is that social media will feed you whatever you like. Facebook has this issue. Facebook and Twitter will feedback whatever you like. If you only like far-left or far-right articles, they will only feed you far-right or far-left articles. No one is being exposed to different perspectives. This is only building on the polarization. This is not reliable for those looking to actually be informed on the news. Part of our responsibility is to be informed on both sides.

— Julia Langmuir (Cherry Hill East Board of Education Representative)


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