I am no longer as young and as on the ball as I thought. High School kids don’t like Facebook. *gasp* Twitter and smart phone apps like Snapchat are all the rage. Have you heard of Snapchat?
Now kids are sending each other messages in 140 characters or less – making shorthand messages much more common. But when students in the journalism program at Sterling High School told me about shying away from Facebook, I understood. Even if I did – for the first time – feel a major shift in the generation gap.
What 16-year-old wants Grandma telling them what a cutie patootie they are every time they post a picture. Everything they post on Facebook is right there for the world to see. Though it’s possible to comment on Twitter, it can be a little more discreet.
But what about Snapchat? Why can’t everyone just Instagram a photo? The answer is a “Snap.”
There is a time limit on each photo and video. Teens can send one to each other, and after a few seconds, it can be deleted from the device. My first thought was what do they have to hide.
Apparently I’m not the only one. Snapchat has been regarded as a sexting app, according to techcrunch.com. The smart phone app even warns that it is rated 12+ for the following: Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content or Nudity, Infrequent/Mild Mature/Suggestive Themes, Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor and Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco or Drug Use or References.
On the other side, kids can still text and email photos to each other, so Snapchat could just be a way to keep storage space clear in their phones.
Either way, I’m still baffled by this whole shift in social media.
Before my sad moment of revelation a couple of weeks ago, I was proud of how much I knew about trends in social media. I joined Facebook roughly 8 years ago when I was a student at Kansas State University. It was an exclusive club. No non-college person was allowed.
I’ll admit, I was a social media snob. When Facebook opened first to high school students and then to everyone, I was annoyed. I enjoyed being part of the “elite.”
But I’ve been a huge advocate of Facebook. Yes, I even started an account for my mother. I may not be 16 anymore, but I’m grateful that she does NOT leave embarrassing comments. Maybe I’m just not a cutie patootie anymore.
I joined Twitter just out of college, but I didn’t become actively involved with my own account until about a year ago when I participated in a “Tweet Up,” or gathering of Twitter users, at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. Now I have to keep in touch with my “Space Tweeps.”
Yet, when I asked what the deal with social media was on my Facebook and Twitter accounts, guess where the biggest response came from? Facebook. I guess I am now bunched in with an older crowd.
As social media continues to evolve, I’m going to have to keep a closer eye on the trends. Maybe I need to go to high schools every once in a while to see what is popular. It changes as often as Apple updates the iPhone.
Until then, I can know that this is the generation of Snaps and Twits. What will they come up with next?
Social Media Editor/The Hutchinson News
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