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The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

The student news website of Omaha Central High School

The Register

iPad zombies are lacking parenting

iPad+zombies+are+lacking+parenting
Cris Bataillon

The average 10-year-old is shifting from playing with dolls, collecting toys like Shopkins, and playing outside to collecting makeup and skincare products endorsed by 20-year-old influencers. This is connected to the rise of early social media use and the integration of technology as a form of parenting.  

Generation Alpha and the iPad entered the world in 2010. This correlation is seen in public today, where children are handed iPads when they seem to act up in public. For example, the other day, I saw two 8-year-olds crying at First Watch, and suddenly, the kids were motionless, looking zombie-like into the iPad they were handed. This is what we call parenting.  

The older half of Generation Alpha, who have access to social media, are becoming heavily influenced by people significantly older than them. Which, in turn, is creating preteens who are rapidly becoming addicted to technology. On TikTok, many beauty influencers film “Get Ready with Me” videos. These are videos of influencers getting ready for an event and showing the skincare and makeup products they use. These videos have caused preteens to go out and buy these products, collecting them as if they were Shopkins.  

Kids are supposed to be the ones exploring: climbing trees, riding bikes, learning about the world around them and acting like kids. The CDC states that children 8 to 10 years old have a daily screen time of six hours. Thus, instead of going outside and playing with the neighbors down the street, these children are given phones, sit in their dark rooms and are absorbed by technology. 

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In this technology use, kids are being exposed to trends of skincare that do not fit their needs. They have even been starting to use skincare that is “anti-aging,” and they are wrecking their skin because the products they are using contain the ingredient retinol. Retinol increases skin cell production, which can be good for combatting acne and aging skin. But, if kids use this product, their skin can become irritated, dry and inflamed.   

Products such as Drunk Elephant are known for their cute, trendy packaging that attracts many young consumers. Their products are also used in many child and adult influencers’ content on TikTok and YouTube. But many of their products also have harmful ingredients for their young audience. These products are suitable for older skin and anti-aging, not for a child’s sensitive face.  

While pre-teens and children try to become older faster, trends of teen girls and young adults embracing their youthful girlhood increase. This is shown through the “coquette” style of wearing bows and wearing pink. Preteens are acting older and trying to become the people we (teens) do not want to be anymore. 

Kids cannot be kids when they are constantly trapped within social media. They are never given time to be bored, and it shows. Generation Alpha is the definition of creativity being ripped from childhood. I do not think that is their fault; I think it shows that we as a society need a change in our technological usage, especially in our ways of parenting. Parenting should be showing a child how to interact with the world. When they are given iPads at any minor inconvenience, in the future, we will have a generation that needs phones to simply interact with another person. 

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About the Contributors
Becca Rock, Staff Writer
Hi, my name is Becca Rock (she/her). I am a junior, this is my first year on The Register and I am on the copy-editing team. I was voted most likely to take a gap year to travel. A fun fact about me is that fall is my favorite season of the year because it reminds me of Gilmore Girls.
Cris Bataillon, Staff Photographer
Hi, my name is Cris Bataillon (he/him). I'm a senior, and this is my first year on The Register. I was selected for most likely to spontaneously buy a pet fish. My favorite restaurant is the Taste of India on Leavenworth.
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