If this phenomena has an element of familiarity, perhaps it is reminiscent of the early days of LadBible and Unilad, before the platforms matured. Cyber-bullying may be as old as the internet, but the issue has been exacerbated by the visual nature of Instagram.
With peer-to-peer newsrooms failing young people, then, where should they turn for news and insights that are reliable and rooted in facts? There may a distinct lack of Generation Z media channels reporting the news in their language – memes, TikTok videos, an irreverent tone-of-voice – but Lorenz believes they can just as easily open a newspaper or log onto a reputable publication, undoubtedly equipped with its own Instagram feed and dedicated social media team. ‘The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post and many other legacy brands already provide incredibly reliable journalism,’ she tells LS:N Global.
While many friendly, progressive, and ultimately safe communities do exist for young internet users – and many are using Instagram to truly fight for what they believe in – we must remember that Generation Z are not cookie-cutter activists driven by socialist ideals. Many are vulnerable and impressionable, and media brands should do what they can to help provide them with reliable, neutral news sources and accessible forms of cultural education.
For more on how to re-embed resilience among a society that is divided by media, read our macrotrend Resilience Culture.