Week 2 – Are teenagers hiding or showing themselves through their connectivity on Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms?

So how can we as, teachers create ‘Affinity’ spaces? After reading ‘Like. Flirt. Ghost: A Journey Into the Social Media Lives of Teens’ in Wired my main thoughts are the disconnection that I feel with the way they interact. It seems so complex and incomprehensible. It seems alien to not let your guard down and to only reveal parts of yourself as most of the teenagers in the article do. In my 40’s or as an open person it seems as if I am only letting someone see parts of me, not all of me.

A final thought on Like, Flirt.Ghost: A Journey Into the Social Media Lives of Teens

Isn’t that the same as portraying the legs of a woman in a panthose ad and not her full body and especially not her face? Remember all the magazine ads for pantyhose? You are objectifying the woman by showing parts of her and the audience does not see her as a whole.

Therefore,….only revealing parts of yourself by counting likes to an instagram photo or seeing how many emojis you get on a snapchat account doing the same? Are we actively objectifying ourselves?

Are we what we post?

Similarly the video “Are we what we post?” explains the obsession with memes that students have. My fourteen year old uses his instagram account to mostly post memes that may #rn represent what he feels like right now. I do not follow him on Instagram as I want to give him some privacy. Also, I am not instagram savvy yet.

The question that arises is that why we do we need memes to represent us? Does it make us cooler than we really are? Why do we need to be cooler? Or maybe I am missing the point and teenagers also want to remain incognito by taking up identities that do not reveal who they really are? So we may be part of what we post but we are not literally what we post because that is also transient. It keeps on changing as we change and maybe that is the most accessible part of using memes to represent ourselves.

Generation Z

Generation Z is fascinating to read about in the Washington Post series of articles. It is fascinating to read about Katherine and how connected she is digitally. However, she seems like she is less connected to her family at the age of 13 only and it will probably decrease as she gets older. However, it is sobering to realize that she has given her friends the power to like or unlike her friends when she gives over her phone.

In the second story, about sexting and how pictures of girls can be saved and shown by a boy that they trust to others is scary. However, it is not new. At my school, not the middle school but high school the same happened last year when pictures were saved on snapchat and shared with masses of the student body. It caused the girl’s family and boy’s family to leave the school to withdraw their students from school.
Aptly this video on Millenials (Generation X) comparison to  Generation Z is captured in this video

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