If a member of the older generation is asked about the millennials (the generation who reached young adulthood around the 2000’s), one of the most common responses will be about their dependence on technology, especially social media. But how much time do high school students spend on social media websites, and is this considered normal?
The answer is, surprisingly varied. While students certainly spend more time than the previous generation on social media, as students get younger, they use it less often.
“I don’t actually use it that much,” said Matt Rausch ’16. “I think it’s necessary, but not that important.”
Older students, particularly seniors, use a wider variety of social media websites. Seniors and juniors at West Lafayette also favor Twitter more than their underclassmen.
“I don’t really use Facebook,” said Grace Denton ’14. “I mostly just use Twitter. I use Facebook for college stuff– they have a class of 2018 page that I check.”
Although social media is often cited as distracting, many students say that they use Facebook for mainly productive purposes.
“I don’t post on Facebook very often. I mostly use it for collaborating on homework,” said Alexander Bouman ’16.
Facebook can often be used as a tool to simply ask for page numbers on a homework assignment.
“I’m too lazy to write stuff in my docket,” said Matthew Lim ’16.
Both Facebook and Twitter users admit to checking social media often, with the majority of users admitting to going on the websites more than once a day.
“I check like once every class period,” joked Scott Blomberg ’14.
Others have abstained from the trend entirely. “Not at all,” Jason Rapsinski ’16 said when asked how often he used any social media platforms.
The millennial generation has been stereotyped as slackers, addicted to technology and scared of one-on-one conversation. In reality, however, high school students vary in their use of social media, and social media is often used to communicate or to work.