Going Viral: The internet on ‘adulting’

Samantha Apanasewicz
Pop Trends Columnist

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy social media. Using social media is an amazing way to keep up with old friends and distant relatives, as well as support your close friends in more ways than one.

However, the way that the internet has formed our generation’s expectations of the future in the frame of our present culture must change. I am specifically referring to content posted by millennials.

We are at an age where the generation above us, commonly referred to as millennials, have begun to marry, start families and enter the work force more seriously. And because social media’s popularity has only grown over time, the content that is being created by millennials surrounds these same topics — topics that our generation shows a great interest in and pays attention to because we are close to graduating and entering the work force ourselves.

As the culture shifts, it has become more mainstream for millennial parents and middle school and high school educators to engage in creating content on various platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok. The goal of these creators is to reach the younger audience whom they want to influence in a way that is not framed as an “educational” or “learning” experience.

In a way, they are succeeding by teaching and influencing children in a “fun and relatable” way, in an attempt to ingrain these “important” messages more deeply into the young minds of today. But as my perspective changes with age, this same content that is continuously being produced starts to become concerning.

In an attempt to be considered “relatable” by Generation Z, millennials have turned to framing their newfound responsibilities and lifestyle changes as chores to be dreaded and as anxiety-causing milestones. Young mothers, who somehow find the time to use social media regularly, portray caregiving as a fruitless burden, emphasizing how their own personal lives suffer due to having to keep their attention on the kids all the time.

In what way is this promoting a message worth sharing? As with every life milestone, there are responsibilities to accompany these changes and decisions. In this specific example, this woman chose to marry and have children, a miracle occurrence at any stage of life, in any culture. This idea that is portrayed about child rearing does nothing to highlight the sacrifice necessary in order to raise a family, indirectly supporting this culture of death in which we find ourselves.

Not only is Gen Z negatively affected by this selfish view of vocation, but the children of millennials themselves are suffering due to their parents’ lack of supervision and care. If the parents of today truly spent enough time with their kids to make them feel cared for and loved, I don’t know how the parents even have the time necessary to post consistently on social media.

While most things on social media can be considered funny and lighthearted, we should guard our hearts against the internet’s version of “adulting.” We must be mindful to not let the internet shape our personal beliefs into those that oppose the culture of life that God calls us Catholics to incorporate into our own lives every day.

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