Understanding Gen Z , a collaboration between Pacific Standard and Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences , investigates the historical context and social science research that helps explain the next generation. Although I have been down one dark alley of the Internet, I remain an optimist because I have also witnessed the positive sides of social media. But as with other toxins, young developing bodies and brains are more susceptible. Had I talked to a friend, maybe they too would have seen something was wrong. All I wanted was to be beautiful.
Juliana. Age: 29.
In a twisted way, we all truly thought we were helping each other—when, really, we were making each other sicker.
Alexia. Age: 20.
See, that’s what the app is perfect for.
And when my health worsened, several of my Tumblr followers were the first to notice and urge me to seek help. I changed in the bathroom stall of the gymnasium locker rooms, terrified of watching taller, thinner, curvier, prettier girls walk by, terrified of what they would think of me, terrified of what I would think of my own disgusting body if forced to confront myself in the mirror. It takes a network of supportive friends, family, and educated health-care professionals with your best interests at heart.