Generation Z takes a pause from media

Leina Panui , Staff Writer

From Facebook and Instagram posts to Snapchats and tweets, it’s the dawn of a generation that surrounds itself with media.

A Linfield professor decided to put a pause on this generation for her own classroom experiment.  

“For about 6 years now, I’ve been assigning students to keep track of their media use for 3 days,” said professor Susan Sivek of the mass communication department.

Sivek discussed how she has changed the assignment this year, challenging students to resist media usage and reflect how long they were able to survive.  

Students in Sivek’s Living in a Media World class had to resist using all types of media, from Instagram to listening to the radio and texting. For a few, this assignment was not at all challenging, but others weren’t able to handle even one-hour away from media.  

“I feel like I am addicted to my phone and have a problem,” said freshman Payton Person as he explained why he was not able to stay off social media for long.

As for others in Sivek’s class, they too experienced the same defeat as Person.  

The generation addicted to media are termed Generation Z or iGen.

Those who are part of this generation are known for their ability to adapt to technology quickly and often claim to be addicted. Yet who is to blame for their addiction?  

“They are exactly like their parents. People jump quick to judgment about this, but there are older people doing the exact same thing,” Sivek said. She defended the generation against the claims made about them.  

Everyone is surrounded by media all the time but taking a break from it can be beneficial and lead to reflection on our potentially unhealthy media consumption.