Gen Z, Creators, and Our Mental Health Tipping Point [Content Made Simple]
Issue #252: TikTok and Juilliard, Meta antitrust, and canceled TV shows.
TOP OF THE WEEK:
I often think of the opening lines from Olivia Rodrigo’s song “Jealousy, Jealousy”:
I kinda wanna throw my phone across the room
'Cause all I see are girls too good to be true
With paper-white teeth and perfect bodies
Wish I didn’t care
The 18-year-old Rodrigo goes on to sing in the chorus, “Comparison is killing me slowly, I think too much about kids who don’t know me.”
Gen Zs, as digital natives, feel this most acutely. Gen Zs have grown up in a world of constant scrutiny, comparing the messiness of their own lives to other people’s airbrushed selfies and curated highlight reels. This takes a toll.
Just a great reflection on the current state of the social internet, creator dominance, and the whirlwind we’re reaping. I don’t share the author’s optimism around how Gen Z is handling the mental health crisis they’re stewarding and maybe reinforcing. But I do think this is a good analysis of the present state of things.
HITTING THE LINKS
Yet another super interesting and terrifying example of the power of the internet.
On Monday night, tens of thousands of Mr. Webber’s fans flooded Juilliard’s Instagram account to express their anger.
“U R DONE, SOOO DONE FOR NOT GETTING AXEL IN 💀💀💀🤚🏽🤚🏽🤚🏽,” a top comment reads. It has over 21,000 likes. Users started the hashtag #JusticeForAxel and left more than a thousand one-star reviews of Juilliard on Google, tanking the school’s search results with negative reviews. Some fans spoke of planning an in-person protest at Juilliard’s campus to voice their frustration.
Will be watching this situation closely, to be sure.
The Federal Trade Commission's antitrust suit against Meta, formerly Facebook, can move forward, a federal court ruled Tuesday.
The big picture: The same judge who dismissed an earlier version of the agency's lawsuit, filed under the Trump administration, says this time the government's case — as rewritten by the agency now led by chair Lina Khan — is good enough to try.
I loved reading this! One of my random, silly hobbies is looking up the social media accounts of 2000s-era TV shows or movies that were created for promotional purposes but now serve no real purpose!
The internet is filled with ghost towns, haunted by forgotten GeoCities sites, Craigslist ads for apartments that have already been rented, and long-shuttered blogs that someone is still paying to keep online. And yet there is a disturbing alternative, which can be found mostly on Twitter. I am speaking, of course, about active social media accounts for television shows that have not been on the air for years.
These reanimated corpses continue to churn out content (mostly in the form of GIFs), presumably to get people to watch the show on whichever streaming service it calls home. I don’t know how effective this tactic is. I don’t think I would ever watch Parks & Recreation just because I saw someone engage with a picture of Rob Lowe taking a nap with a dog.
THE FUNNY PART
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