Payton McGaffigan shares her thoughts on social media and its influence on Gen Z

The twenty-one-year-old model is ambitious and determined to grow into a better version of herself.

Payton McGaffigan shares her thoughts on social media and its influence on Gen Z 1

Payton McGaffigan. Jumpsuit, Ella Zahlan. Earrings, Debora Malouf. Rings, Coco+Peach. Shoes, Viva Stylehouse.

Cozying up in her apartment, surrounded by white warm blankets, model Payton McGaffigan texted us on her phone, “I was born in Newport Beach and raised in Tustin most of my upbringing. It’s a beautiful place to grow up, with the Ocean so close. Both of my parents were born and raised in Southern California.”

Payton is twenty-one years old. She is living in Los Angeles. We laughed when her next message arrived, “so I haven’t ventured too far from home…YET.”

She has two older sisters and an older brother, “My siblings are pretty awesome, they have been great role models for me. We love to be together and are really a great support system for each other.”

Dress, Anna Gupta. Earrings, Veronica Tharmalingam. Rings and shoes, Viva Stylehouse.

Payton is studying Business Entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Growing up watching “Shark Tank” and shows about business, she has always been attracted to success stories and people taking risks on new ideas. Many of her friends have started businesses and side hustles, they love to sit around and talk about business ideas.

She is also dreaming of starting her own business one day, “but right now, I’m focused on completing my education and following my modeling passion. I have so much to learn.”

Besides her study, the young model is also passionate about exploring her creative side, “In middle school and high school, art really caught my attention, I guess I have always been attracted to art and beautiful and unique imagery.” For her, modeling is about telling a story through pictures and facial expressions.

Payton McGaffigan shares her thoughts on social media and its influence on Gen Z 2

Payton McGaffigan is a true representative of Gen Z. She is ambitious and wants to be a positive role model for others. “I’ve learned over the years that my actions impact others as I grow in my career. I want to make sure I am always giving my best. Being kind, fair, and healthy is important to me. I want to be able to share my stories with others.”

When asked to describe her generation, the student didn’t hesitate, “Social media has an enormous impact on this generation, positive and negative. The positive is the amount of information flow and the access to opportunity is so much more abundant than any previous generation, you need a computer or phone and you go go go…” (True. We’ve been talking together via the phone, and we understood each other completely.)

She then carried on, “I think my generation is very much aware of the opportunities that are available to them, and their expectations are set pretty high. On the flip side, the negative impact of social media can be overwhelming and very negative. With the constant barrage of pictures and images, it can really mess with your mind. The pressure to look and act in certain ways can be unbearable at times.”

“I myself have to take a digital detox every so often, but it seems almost impossible these days.” She recently read a book by the name The Courage to be Disliked.

Payton McGaffigan explained, “It’s about owning your happiness. For me it was a life-changing book, it really taught me, or better said, it reminded me, that we all choose our happiness, no one can make you feel anyway unless you let them. I find that I go back to read certain chapters over and over as a reminder.”

Payton McGaffigan shares her thoughts on social media and its influence on Gen Z 3

Dress, Eni Buiron. Ring, Federica Rossi. Earrings, Georgina. Bag, Kristina K. Shoes, Viva Stylehouse.


Model: Payton McGaffigan @p810km
Makeup: Amy Galloway @amiigalloway
Hair: EJ Keshishian @itsejkeshishian
Photographer: Malik Daniels @mdanielsphoto
Stylist: Irena Iverson @flaricent_style
PR company: @say__media

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