Online Social Networks in the Lives of Teens: “A Gateway That Keeps You Current”

Filed in: Social Media, StudentSpeak

Produced by Ben Wolff


3.11.10 | In this edition of StudentSpeak, high school seniors George and James report back on their social networking furloughs (both tried to avoid social media for at least a week) and sum up the lessons they learned from the experience.

So how did it feel to not use Facebook?

“The first time I kind of freaked out was on Valentine’s Day,” said James, explaining that he usually uses the public platform to wish his girlfriend a Happy Valentine’s Day. But the day turned out OK: The couple hung out and went to dinner.

George said that staying off Facebook for 30 days taught him that he didn’t need to be on 24/7.

“I don’t need to be looking at other people’s comments and looking at other people’s photos, just to see what’s going on. Because that’s not what’s going on in the world,” he said. “What’s going on in the world is when you look at Yahoo News or the Chicago Sun Times news and look to see what’s going on and try to stay current. Staying current with the world is important to me more than being current with so-and-so’s breakup or so-and-so got a new pair of jeans.”

At the same time, though, George said he felt somewhat detached from the world when he stopped visiting blogs and social networks that keep him informed about culture, music and fashion. Social media, he added, is a “gateway that keeps you current.”


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