Social Media through the eyes of teens

Recently we met with a group of teens to ask them some questions about social media and how they use it. Sit back and enjoy our interview.

What platforms are you currently on?

Majority of the teens used, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, Youtube, Vine, Pintest, The Hunt, VSCOcam, Facebook, YikYak.

When you say YouTube, are you just watching video or do you actually have your own channels?

‘Everyone always has their own channel, it’s just a matter of whether you choose to post videos or not. The second you sign up for a Google Gmail account you have a YouTube Channel.’

Tell us about what draws you to these social platforms?

It was the photography based platforms that initially drew their attention sharing photos with friends. ‘Everyone is on them.’ It’s a good way to stay connected to the celebrities and people you like. ‘You are able to showcase your personality through posts.’

Tell us how the teens are using Fan Accounts?

‘Basically you follow your favourite celebrities and random people who also like that band or celebrity, as a community you ‘freakout’ and ‘fangirl’ about them. They plan meet ups and plan to get together. If you know where celebrities are going to be you post and try and keep people up to date with the chance that they might be able to meet them in real life.’

What are the positives you see by being on social platforms?

You are able to learn about new things, you can showcase your personality through your posts. You can create groups with your friends to keep in touch and make plans.

What are the negatives you see by being on social media?

Cyberbullying, “it’s out there forever”, catfishing

Many parents won’t understand the term ‘catfishing’ can you explain that for us.

Catfishing is when someone pretends to be someone they are not online, usually to start a relationship with that person. (There is a TV show based around this that is popular with the teens.)

You talked earlier about VSCOcam, again many will not be familiar with this platform can you explain what it is and how the teens use it.

It is not a very popular one with the teens, it’s a photo editing app. Within the app you can post pictures and others can follow and see them. It’s a concept similar to Instagram.

Did you parents ever discuss social media safety with you? Do you give them your passwords and tell them what platforms you are on?

Yes ~’ briefly and a lot of what they said I knew already.’

When first starting out using social media yes, they had passwords, and knew all the platforms we were on. Now that we are older, it’s still discussed but passwords are not given to parents.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with us about how you use your social media accounts or tips you’d like to share with parents reading this?

The focus group had no response to this question.

 

We hope you found our interview interesting and learned a little about how the teens see and use social media.

 

Stacy Maynard & Kerry Hills are moms with successful social media businesses. We have a passion for helping children understand how to use social media safely.  We have joined together to implement into classrooms and the community our Socially Safe, Socially Fun, Social Media programs.

We are Moms of kids between the ages of 8 to 15, so we understand the need to help our kids stay safe and create a positive digital footprint.  Social Media is not going away and we are passionate about teaching our kids how to use it, have fun and stay Socially Safe.

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