Dear “Our Generation,” Enough is enough…

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Are these the headlines we want our generation to be known for?

In the past 4 months of school, the amount of school shooting threats, bomb threats, vandalism, and cyberbullying I have seen and heard on the news and throughout my and other schools is absurd. The worst part about all of this is that kids think this is normal.

Being a high school student in 2021 is extremely different from the high school experience my parents and teachers experienced. All generations have something that will define them, and I am starting to lose hope that my generation will ever come out of this bad place we seem to be stuck in. My generation has become immune to seeing terrible things happening. We scroll through TikTok watching people rip soap dispensers off the wall and teachers’ belongings being stolen. We walk through the halls as people punch each other and bystanders stop to take video. We hear about neighboring schools that are in lockdown for hours on end. Day after day I hear and see things like this happen. Scenarios like these have become a normal part of teenagers’ lives all across the world. 

My generation has become immune to seeing terrible things happening. We scroll through TikTok watching people rip soap dispensers off the wall and teachers’ belongings being stolen. We walk through the halls as people punch each other and bystanders stop to take video.”

Recently, Instagram accounts have been circling throughout the North Penn School District, these accounts consist of names like, “np hottest”, “np eats”, and so many more. These accounts comprise of taking pictures of other students and posting them on the accounts to make fun of other kids. While a lot of the pictures sent in are from people’s friends and meant to be a joke there are also numerous posts meant to intentionally make fun of other students. These Instagram pages are used to bring kids’ amusement at the cost of tearing down other students in the process. Is this really how we want to be defined? Is this something we want to be known for?

Accounts like these may seem funny as you are scrolling through them, but take into consideration the students whose pictures are getting posted without their permission. They have been violated and now have to open Instagram to see people making fun of them. There is no escape anymore, no safe space.

Social media has created the ideal way to cyberbully anyone you feel like without getting caught. You can say whatever you want about whomever you want and don’t have to face any punishments because it can all be done anonymously. People in my generation have become so used to things like this happening that we don’t even recognize the wrong in actions like these.

Within the past week, a TikTok trend called National Violence Day has been circulating worldwide. Shootings and bomb threats have been reported all around the nation. North Penn alerted parents and guardians about this concern assuring them that no threats have yet to be directed towards our school district. Although they sent out this email, many teachers, students, and parents are wary about December 17th in schools. 

My generation has become so prone to violence throughout schools that when trends like these come up we do not think too deep into it. 

In 2018 the CDC issued reports showing suicide rates, “ [The] rates of suicide among young people jumped 56% between 2007 and 2016, after declining between 1999 and 2007,” Time news reports in their “Depression and Suicide Rates…” written by Markham Heid. 

These statistics matter because if you look and it when all the different social media platforms were released it matches up very well. Twitter was released in 2007, Instagram was released in 2010, Snapchat in 2011, Tiktok in 2016. Notice how they were all released in the span that suicide rates jumped. 

Social media is a huge part of the problem, but it can’t take all of the blame. High schoolers have brains they know the actions they make and how it affects others, so why are we making decisions like these?”

It is so obvious that social media is impacting our generation greatly. Social media is a huge part of the problem, but it can’t take all of the blame. High schoolers have brains they know the actions they make and how it affects others, so why are we making decisions like these? Why are we doing something that we know will deliberately hurt someone else? Personally, I am sick of constantly hearing about how our generation is doing terrible things and how we are becoming desensitized. I want our generation to be known for something positive for once. We need to start really thinking about the actions we are taking. I think we have become so used to being able to just press one button and be done, that we forget to go back a read what we are really about to put out for everyone to see.  How long are we going to stand by and tolerate the damage that we as a generation are causing to each other and schools?