College students and social media

Social media has become a large part of the 21st century, especially in high school and college students. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are similar in many different demographics. Being used to keep up with news, friends and family, celebrities, companies, sports teams, movies, etc. the list goes on and on. Both these apps are run by the same companies but serve basically the same purpose.According to some students who consume both platforms, they say that Facebook is for older generations and that Instagram is for newer generations. Either way, the usage of the apps are for the same use: social media.

In a survey I conducted on my own social media accounts, I put out a Google Form with two simple questions for the current high school and college generations to say which social media app they USE the most and which they LIKE the most. Out of 37 responses, Snapchat was the most used social media app. Garnering 12 votes, this doesn’t shock me.. Snapchat is how many friends from college keep in touch with friends from high school and how recent generations tend to communicate. Behind Snapchat was TikTok with 11 votes, Instagram with 10, and then a large dropoff to YouTube with four votes. If you ask some high school and college students, many would agree with you that the top three apps our generation currently uses are Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok. 

Other options to choose from other than the main three were Facebook, YouTube, X (Twitter), and if there was one not mentioned, participants were free to “write” in another option if they felt fit. I was not surprised by the responses I received as I am a college student myself and I use the top three apps daily along with many others. Mainly, I ask why? I think to myself that it is just because everyone else does it. If everyone else enjoys it, for the most part, and has fun with it, why shouldn’t I? But then I focus my thinking into why I use it. Not others and what their actions affect me, by why I continue to go back to the apps and center my entertainment from it.

Answers to that would be different for every app. Snapchat is the source of contact used the most between my friends and I, so I want to keep that contact with them and this seems like the best and easiest way to do so. Instagram keeps me up to date with news and highlights in entertainment that I am interested in like football, baseball, golf, movies, music, etc. I get news from reporting pop culture feeds and sports feeds that continue to keep me informed and interested. TikTok does something similar where I can get news and entertainment in short clips and move on. Some of the content is funny and just for a good laugh and some is about movie updates and reviews. I use these apps as a distraction from my daily busy life and to entertain myself in short stints. 

Some high school and college students alike use the same apps for the same purposes, but many have personal reasons that give them a better purpose for being on social media. The only thing to truly point out is that in today’s day and age, social media is something to accept and not fight anymore. So many people use it and are content with it that it is going to affect the future of my generation and those after mine. Social media apps are very complex and also simple at the same time, making the usage of them even more intriguing than normal.