Recent findings from the Pew Research Center may come as no surprise: 92% of American teens report going online daily, and 24% say they are online "almost constantly." 71% of teens are on Facebook, followed by Instagram and Snapchat with 52% and 41%, respectively.
Social media may seem pervasive among American youth, but a small population of teens have opted out. In an article from The Wall Street Journal, Future Tense Fellow Christine Rosen discusses this group of teens who are rejecting all social media and their reasoning for doing so. Of the teenagers whom Rosen spoke to, they didn't see the need for social media in their lives because they thought it was "just a joke" and not "valuable communication." One teen believed "there's nothing really new or creative on it" and that it "will be pretty much be gone" in ten years.
By removing social media from their lives, this group of teens is not susceptible to what Rosen called the "immediate and chronic danger" of social media: teens who frequently use social media are more likely to compare themselves to their peers and evaluate their self-worth each time they receive (or don't receive) "likes" or responses to what they've posted.
Do you have students who have rejected social media? Do they feel it's "just a joke"? Do you think there's a way for these teenagers to use social media in a way that feels more authentic to how they want to communicate with their peers?