By Joyce LEE
The evolution of technology creates a perpetual increase in the number of social media sites. Though the internet is readily available for people of all ages, teenagers constitute an overwhelming high percent of traffic on social media sites. Although there is ongoing controversy about the consequences social media results for teens, it is no secret that it is nearly impossible to prevent them from living a portion of their lives online.
In a survey of 100 students at Crescenta Valley High School, 44 participants chose Facebook as their most used social plug. Contrary to rumors of the diminishing popularity of Facebook, there are currently over one billion users registered from around the world.
“It’s true that many teens now turn to other social media outlets, such as Instagram and Tumblr, for social networking. However, Facebook remains the most popular because many classes create Facebook groups for an educational environment. Fellow classmates post questions and share updates,” sophomore Jocelyn Gould said.
Furthermore, more than half of the 44 who selected Facebook shared that the reason for Facebook’s vast number of daily users is its simplicity. The straightforward tools, such as the “like” button and the easy tagging of people, allows users to easily express their thoughts and create a social network base. The dominating mobile presence of Facebook adds to its user-friendliness. Also, Facebook is engaging with its diverse applications. Its biggest hit yet is its purchase of Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion.
Instagram was runner up, with a total of 28 tallies. This application allows users to creatively and conveniently share photos and videos within a matter of minutes. Similar to Facebook, Instagram utilizes the system of “likes.” In addition, it sparked the trend of “hashtags.” With its growing fanbase of 150 million monthly active users, Instagram triumphs over Facebook as the modern social networking site.
“I love Instagram because it creates no hassle. All you have to do is post a photo, and within seconds, you’ll receive feedback,” senior Nivedha Manthala said.
Snapchat, a trending messaging app launched in 2011, won third place with a total of 15 votes. Its booming popularity among youngsters is due to the power users have to enforce a time limit on the messages, pictures, and videos they send before the messages disappear.
Snapchat was created as a method for teens to be silly and have fun without the paranoia of publicity. However, this factor of Snapchat is what has parents worrying about the possible exchange of inappropriate material. Despite these issues, Snapchat seems to have a bright future, as even Facebook offered to purchase it for $3 billion.
Although Snapchat founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy rejected Mark Zuckerberg’s bid, they need not worry. Snapchat continues to attract more users to its growing 100 million monthly active users.
“Amongst teens, Snapchat has replaced texting because it’s more interesting to actually see what the other party is doing. Also, Snapchat now shares live footage of events from across the nation: football games, marathons, and so on,” junior Christine Kim said.
Tumblr and Twitter followed close behind Snapchat, with a total of eight and five votes, respectively.
Whether it is Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, the presence of social media in teens’ lives is inevitable. The versatility of social media as educational gadgets to inane communication tools is indicative of this era’s innovative technology. But teens and other users must be aware that with the fun of social media comes the responsibility to protect their privacy and safety.