Redford student correspondents look at social media use

By Laurynn Abram and Aaron Mack

 

*DING DING*

His phone just rang. He wonders what it is, Twitter? Instagram? Snapchat? He slowly pulls the phone out of his pocket to see. His friend Billy told him to come over on Twitter. Greg later went to Snapchat to tell everybody he was going to his best friend’s house.  He does not worry about posting it on Instagram, because no one really cares about that anymore.  He may post a wholesome photo on Facebook so his parents see that he is a good kid just hanging with other good kids.

 

Teens nowadays use social media to communicate with other teens. In the above story, the teen used his Twitter to plan a day with his friend. Then, he posted it, “his story”, on Snapchat to show his friends what was going on.

 

Amanda Lenhart is the lead researcher on Pew Research Center projects focusing on youth and technology. Her research is to help companies market to us, but her findings motivated us to ask around Thurston about social media use.

    According to a new study from Pew Research Center, 56 percent of teens,ages 13 to 17, go online several times a day.

    “African-American teens are the most likely of any group of teens to have a smartphone, with 85% having access to one, compared with 71% of both white and Hispanic teens,” said Lenhart.

    Despite many of us saying that Facebook is for old people, it remains the most used social media site among American teens ages 13 to 17.  With 71 percent of teens on Facebook, the report reveals only half of teens use Instagram and four-in-ten use Snapchat.

    In our own research at Thurston, we found Facebook to be much more popular amongst teachers.  Let’s be honest, it is dead to us unless we want to post things for our adult family members to see.

    Mrs. Clayton, Video Production and Media Analysis teacher, loves Facebook.

    “Great tool to connect with family and old friends,” said Ms. Clayton.

    On the other hand, Senior Sommer Gibson just wishes, “”My grandma would stop asking me to accept her friend request.”

For those of you that don’t know what Snapchat is, it is a social media site that people post pictures or videos on “your story” which then lasts 24 hours.  It is becoming the most used social media site especially with those students we asked at Thurston.  Only your friends can see your posts and there is no social pressure of likes and comments.   Basically, you share your story with friends about a day in your life.  You do not worry about using filters or how many likes you get.

 

Not all teachers agree that Snapchat is “All That.”  With the component of “only lasting 24 hours,” teachers say over and over again nothing on social media simply goes away.

Media Analyis teacher Ms. Ferris said, “Snapchat is evil and causes way too many issues in school.”

            “Snapchat is the best because people’s stories are funny,” said Junior Quintin Richards.  For many teachers, they argue that “being funny” may be at someone else’s expense and that is where the trouble may lie.

Twitter was once the top site of teens.  It is a  place to follow/be followed by a bunch of random strangers.  The bulk of  Twitter users used it to complain and express themselves.  Occasionally, retweets was the thing when someone wanted to pass some words of wisdom or something they could relate to on.  Subtweeting, in which people ranted about things or people without specifically giving any names, caused way too much drama in school.

“Starts a lot of drama but is useful for lurking purposes,” said Senior Kristian Hollis.

We found that teachers know about a lot of social media sites that we really do not care about.  They talk about Google Plus which when students were asked about it, there was a collective answer of “huh?”

Another site used by teachers is Pinterest.  Some students, mostly girls, admitted that they liked to pin ideas on boards about make-up tips, prom dress ideas,  etc. . .

The bottom line is this:  we are two seniors in high school and see that Social Media is not going away.  Instead, Social Media continues to evolve.  Thus, the views we provide are the result of observation of not only our own habits but our peers’ habits as well.

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