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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Maturity Levels are Getting Higher and Higher

From elementary school children shopping at Sephora to young kids frequenting social media and worrying about followers, it truly seems like Gen Z has skipped the phase of bright and cheery childhood.
Sitwat Mian
It seems like nowadays Gen Z kids act very grown up. Instead of playing in playgrounds, they are running around Sephora. Instead of sending notes to each other in class, they are Snapping each other on Snapchat. Why has this happened to Gen Z, and is it going to cause any lasting effects on the kids?

In the past, being a kid or teen meant you lived in a simple and carefree bubble of comfort. Life was full of fun and color, not of stress about what the world thinks about you. Nowadays, however, it seems almost like a privilege to have not matured as fast. Concerned adults have started to take notice of how fast Generation Z has skipped the awkward phase of figuring out themselves. But why has this happened to Gen Z — was Gen Z forced to mature, and if so how will it impact them in the future?

Gen Z is the second youngest generation, ranging from people born between the late 90s and the early 2010s. According to BambooHr, “The Gen Z age range is roughly between 11 and 26 years old.” They also make up 20% of the US population and are either teens or young adults.

So far, older generations have seen Gen Z as screen addicts, and that’s mostly true. A main factor for this problem was caused by COVID-19 and the restrictions and lockdowns which took place soon afterward. During this time, there was nothing to do except scroll through the internet. In a study found in the National Library of Medicine, “A recent large-scale survey revealed a sharp increase in worldwide social media usage compared to before the pandemic.” This excessive access to social media has now led many teens and kids who lived through the pandemic to “grow up faster.” 

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Freshman Chela Hess has seen this reflected in her own experiences. “With social media like TikTok and stuff like that, kids are being exposed to people who are older and [are] getting influenced,” Hess said. “We can see that with the way they act and the clothes that they wear, and it’s weird to see.”

Hess also thinks that kids don’t have to grow up that fast. “Most of the time, [kids] still have time to be kids, so [they should] enjoy that,” Hess said. She also says it might be only the kids’ faults. . “I would think it’s becoming a pattern at this point because of parents letting them.”

However, Senior Lance Walker is more critical. “A lot of kids here at Rock Ridge are immature, and the other half are a lot more mature than the other,” Walker said.

He strongly believed that parents seem to be the root of whether a minor has matured or not.
“[The other half have matured] because their parents forced them to and taught them more valuable lessons than the other half,”  Walker said. “The other half [had everything] handed to them without having to do anything at all.”

The main thing people need to address when it comes to this problem is how much internet access parents give their children. The solution is that parents of future generations should start setting boundaries and rules when it comes to how much time and what content their children watch. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry,“for children 2-5, limit non-educational screen time to about 1 hour per weekday and 3 hours on the weekend days. For ages 6 and older, encourage healthy habits and limit activities that include screens.”

These rules and boundaries would not only make sure kids are not exposed to content that’s not appropriate for their respective age but the limiting of screen time would make children focus on things such as playing with their toys, participating in sport, or just spending time with family and friends instead of striving to become more ‘grown up.”

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About the Contributors
Samantha Chang
Samantha Chang, Staff Writer
Samantha Chang is a sophomore in her second year of staff. An artist and writer from a young age, she has decided to continue working on the newspaper due to the positive experience and friendships she made in her first year. Samanatha has many hobbies, such as painting, writing, and her newfound favorite, krav maga. In school, she’s a dedicated student favoring classes that involve English and tends to stay away from science and math. In the future she hopes to become a journalist or artist.
Sitwat Mian
Sitwat Mian, Graphic Editor
Sitwat is a junior, and the Graphics Editor for the Newspaper. She enjoys art and is excited to create graphics for the staff this year. When she’s not frantically worrying about school, you can find her listening to music, spending time with her family, and eating. She is probably the most unathletic person you will ever meet, and has the memory and attention span of an Ostrich. Ultimately, Sitwat hopes for another creative and successful year in Newspaper.

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