Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School

Stinger

Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School

Stinger

Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School

Stinger

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Losing Childhood

Losing+Childhood
Audrey Atkinson

Many children wish to be grown up when they are young, but in the recent decade, there has been a shift to actually thinking and acting much older than they are. 

Primarily, the shift can be linked to the presence of technology. More and more children are receiving phones or electronic devices at a younger age, therefore they are being exposed to social media and “influencers” that can promote unhealthy content much earlier than before. Moreover, the effects of technology can be observed in children as many become addicted to endless scrolling of videos, whether it be on TikTok, Instagram, or YouTube. There is a whole category labeling children iPad kids, who are always fixated on their screens and limit their social interactions.

Furthermore, exposure to social media as a child results in the formation of beauty and social standards, causing everyone to try to fit in by abiding by such expectations. Trends become relevant to younger kids as they are influenced by what they have seen or watched. For example, the Stanley Cup craze has taken over all ages. In addition, many children mimic the actions and styles of those which are popular with young adults, and therefore all look the same with no uniqueness. Beige clothing and neutral colors have replaced the mismatched vibrant neon clothes previously worn, and Starbucks has taken the spot of many other toys kids used to spend want. An additional instance can be seen in the increase of Gen Alpha girls flocking to beauty stores like Sephora for expensive and trendy beauty products. Thinking they need cosmetics to match the aesthetic norms results in an increase in youth body image concerns.

Another change is the decrease in participation in different youth sports, an effect due to numerous factors. Primarily, in the present, to achieve every child’s dream of playing a professional sport you need to begin focusing and training on that singular sport from a very young age. Secondly, the cost of competitive sports makes it out of reach for many families. Furthermore, many children feel that they are inadequate when comparing themselves to those on social media or as a result of body image issues, feeling they don’t look the part to participate. The dissipation of fun in sports from burnout is becoming more prevalent as well. Nevertheless, the healthy habits that occur when children play youth sports are important factors, but with the distractions of the world and the previous reasons, children are dropping out of youth sports in masses leaving the benefits behind.

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Indeed, there are many kids still living a childlike life, despite the portrayal of Gen Z and Gen Alpha habits in the media. However the modernizing world’s shifting values are resulting in the loss of childhood as a time to grow and play carefree.

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About the Contributor
Audrey Atkinson
Audrey Atkinson, Culture Editor
Junior, Audrey Atkinson is the Culture Editor and is in her third year at Stinger. Other than Stinger, she is involved in Key Club, Outdoor Club, Wounded Warriors and Girls’ Soccer. Outside of school, Audrey loves to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Modern Family. She is also part of the Chicago Inter soccer program. Audrey also enjoys traveling and has been to 38 states in the US.

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