The Generational Conflict Of Social Media

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Often throughout history there have been contention between generations, as the older generation disapproves of the younger generation’s attitudes and morals (Cortez). As social values and priorities change and evolve, for better or for worse, the older generation are often nostalgic for “the good old days” while the younger generation often embrace and even find relief in the new lifestyle. This generational conflict can be seen today in the disdain many older adults have with the so-called Millennial Generation, which Strauss and Howe describe those born from 1982 to 2004 (Bump). However, the conflict has been widened with the rapid growth of technological advances in communication devices such as smart phones and specifically in social…show more content…
However, there is research that suggests overuse of social media may be more than just abuse. A study at the University of Maryland had 200 college students disconnect from their phones for 24 hours and then blog about it: the students described the experience in terms similar to drug addiction going through withdrawal. Symptoms such as anxiety, craving, depression, and jitteriness were described, which coincide with symptoms familiar to drug addicts attempting to quit (Merrill Study). The feelings while using the social media are also similar to those of drug users, with one student admitting that social media provides “a constant feeling of comfort” and reduces feelings of seclusion from loved ones (Laster). However, regardless of this study, it is cogent to note that the American Psychiatric Association has not formal recognition of Social Media or Internet Addiction as an official psychological disorder. For this study in particular, critics such as blogger Zack Whittaker point out that the results were misinterpreted: the diagnosis of addiction is not a strongly supported one and this “addiction” is merely an escalation of the amount of time that individuals spend on social media sites that naturally coincides with the recent increase in their presence and importance in daily life (Whittaker). While investigation continues into whether the social media epidemic should be categorized as overuse,
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