Generation Z uses social media as a primary method of communication both locally and globally. It is how they interact with their peers, business, and the various brands they deem essential. The Internet is more than just a means of communication. The youth of today recognizes that the access to information provided by the web allows them to go to significant depth when researching issues, topics, and ideas. When you combine their reach with their ability to investigate, the results are incredible. Recent events have provided two fantastic examples of this playing out in the real world along with the effect teens and social media can have.
On February 21st, 2018, one tech-savvy firm lost 1.3 billion dollars in market value after a single tweet. 88 characters erased 1.3 billion dollars in value. That’s almost 1.5 million dollars per character! Kylie Jenner, reality TV star, and a major Generation Z influencer tweeted the following:
Thirty minutes later she tweeted that she still loved the app, but at the point, the damage was done. By the end of business the following day, Snapchat’s stock closed down 6%. Investors blame a recent redesign of the app as the reason users are not using the service as much. Jenner’s tweet to her 25 million followers has prompted many to believe that Snapchat may be on its way out.
Voice of Change
The horrific events in Parkland, Florida have sparked a student lead revolution in gun control. Kids are speaking out, walking out, and standing up to call attention to this issue. One student, Emma González, has become the face of the movement after her remarks at a rally in the days after the shooting. Emma created a Twitter account to help spread her message. At the time of this article, she has 1.6 million followers on Twitter, and the number continues to grow. Every one of her posts is shared thousands of times. Her reach is staggering. She’s on pace to rival the following of global organizations such as Coca-Cola & McDonalds that spend millions of dollars on advertising each year. Almost overnight, an ordinary girl from Florida is commanding the attention of her generation.
What does this mean for parents and educators?
These two examples so the incredible amount of influence one person can have just by using social media. This emphasizes the importance of knowing who are the influencers in your child’s life. This is the same for parents of younger kids. The young YouTube stars of today making Minecraft videos will be the influencers of tomorrow. Ask your children who they follow and why. Do your research as well. As with all of the Help @ Home posts, often be aware of what’s out there and talking to your kids is the best course of action.