Serious What is high school like in the age of social media?

NixHex

I do not recall. I do not recall.
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I graduated from high school in 2005, over a third of my life past. With social media having grown exponentially (and become a term) since then, I can imagine that the fabric of everyday life of a teenager is vastly different than it was when I was coming of age. I'll try to elaborate on some of the differences of the internet's influence on daily interactions "back in my day" versus now. There is some overlap between the two eras, obviously, so the time periods aren't set in stone. Some of it is a little tongue-in-cheek but anyone from that era who reads this would agree that there is a lot of truth to it. I'm sure I have left out some stuff or gotten something wrong, it's been a while. Maybe another old fogie like WaterBomb or cookie can help shed more light on the middle ages of the internet.

1997 to roughly 2009
  • AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) - A chat client with a buddy list, chatrooms, a small avatar, and a profile of similar size as Smogon's signature fields (without the extremely limited vertical space, of course). User profile usually contained out-of-context song lyrics ending with an ellipsis (Hear we are now... entertain us...), ASCII art, primitive l33tspeak, and garish color schemes. Similar clients were MSN and Yahoo! Messenger, but nowhere near as common. Usually used to speak with your crush that you were scared to talk to at school, just hang out with your buds, or troll your enemies or weak kids. I actually used AIM to chat with Smogoners in my early days in this community, believe it or not. Server shut down last year.
  • LiveJournal / Xanga - precursor to Tumblr, aka blogs that no one read except your close friends, and only when you told them "hey check my latest post!" Surprising amount of freedom regarding formatting and ability to post photos. I think there was a buddy system, but no timeline where you just automatically see whatever your friends post. Used to air grievances and make passive-aggressive statements about people you don't like, share your musical, literary, or cinematic tastes or whatever.
  • SMS Texting - Not nearly as widespread as it is today because most of us were on our parents' phone plans that may not have included it. On my first cell phone, I could receive texts but not send them.
  • Myspace - LiveJournal on steroids, precursor to Facebook. Massive customization (layout, background photo, Top 5), lame apps, ability to upload photos and even music. This gained a lot of traction in my senior year of high school, and due to its novelty, even a shy guy like me could befriend the "popular kids" and form a superficial friendship with them. I graduated at the just the right time to where gossip and drama between my classmates was minimal as we were about to split for college. Had a "wall" system so your friends, enemies, and frienemies had a much higher chance of reading your stuff than the old blog sites.
  • Facebook - needed a .edu email address to join, so there was a short amount of time where I wasn't able to be on Facebook. Minimalistic interface, a stark contrast to Myspace. Seen as the platform for the more sophisticated young adults. Drama was rare as the userbase was much less diverse (generationally) and, like Myspace, it had the novelty factor.
  • Cell Phones - Smart phones were non-existent or extremely rare. Most of us didn't bother asking our parents for Blackberries, nor did we have use for them. I didn't get a smart phone until my Droid in 2010, after I graduated college. I bring this up because our phones were basically for texting and calling. Internet access was available but extremely slow and a lot of pages didn't render correctly. Pages weren't optimized for mobile browsing, for obvious reasons. There was no reason to look at our phones outside of basic functions, because phones were boring. No internet at our fingertips, no push notifications, nothing.
2008 to Current
  • Myspace - Died a long time ago and is basically irrelevant at this point. Even Justin Timberlake couldn't revive this. RIP.
  • Facebook - Registration became open to literally anyone who's not in jail or can read. This has mostly morphed into a place for boomers to talk down to millenials and have toxic arguments with people they haven't seen in 40 years about politics and religion. Young married couples use it as a highlight reel of their lives and share pictures of their toddlers and pets. I suppose there is a big portion of youth that use it regularly but it's not nearly as popular as....
  • Instagram - Specifically for posting photos and now videos I think? I don't have one, but I know plenty of people who do, mostly junior high through young adults. The birth of the selfie. You can frame photos how your wish and add filters so you aren't as ugly as in irl. Boomers and Gen X'ers aren't really present outside of promoting their MLM's or home businesses.
  • Snap chat - I don't have one of these either but my GF does. Pretty popular among junior highers and high schoolers too.
  • Twitter - I honestly think that the only people who should be posting threads on Twitter are those with some sort of influence, either celebrities or "internet famous." If you are a business, or if more than 1000 people, not including friends, know who you are, then I guess you qualify. I just cringe when my average joe friend from high school posts about his daily life. He should be using it to comment on celebrities' tweets and harassing strangers, like the rest of us do.
Why did I even post this?
I'm posting this here because there are a lot of people who were recently in high school or still are, and I have a high regard for the average teen on Smogon. I feel like I can get honest answers out of this userbase. So, how has social media influence your high school experience? Does internet life tie into real life? Is "high school drama" exacerbated by drama that naturally occurs on social media? Are people outwardly vicious on social media but fake nice at school? Does online drama lead to real life, physical harassment and bullying? Other thoughts or discussion points?
 
Australia's a little different from America (high school and middle school are combined) but your school schedule is now entirely online including your classrooms, homework submissions, resources, contacting teachers etc. Kids are encouraged to use the phone app in the morning to check their timetables for the day.

Instagram is honestly shit posting and almost porn, nothing important happens there its just a time killer more than anything else.
Snapchat: ditto, nothing important happens on there

Twitter isn't that popular in Australia i'd say only a tenth of kids or so have it, I got it originally to talk with friends in japan.

Facebook, school media groups are used for interhighschool meme shit posting, discussing tips and tricks for getting through exams and sharing resources as while as seeking or advertising tutoring services, some of these pages are so important that they are funded and supported by actual universities.

Basically everybody has a smartphone, most kids will get one bought by their parents and as kids save up money or find part time jobs its often the first thing they will upgrade/buy.

Social Media dramas is heavily overstated all the three kids that have committed suicide in my time at school have done so for reasons outside of social media. People are surprisingly courteous as a matter of fact
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This is my highschools page and is honestly what most high school social media looks like

Depending on where you live most personal chatting is done with facebook messenger or whatsapp, the worst cyberbullying I can think of in my school is when a girl posted a shitty make up tutorial on youtube and got shit for a few months.
 
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Really interesting topic! Ill throw in two cents.

I graduated in 2015, and what i would say about the boom of all the social media is that people are mostly the same but everything is 1. A lot less private, and similar but not quite the same 2. A lot more connected.

When you hear about “mysterious” kids back in the day and how it was kind of cool to be unknown, that is almost unheard of now. Word spreads faster than it did before so now that stupid thing you did or said that wouldve just gone unnoticed before is now big news. And similarly any gossip now goes from spread by word of mouth over a few days to being instantly around the place in an hour.

I think the main consequence of this is that events are being exascerbated with a mob mentality when they may have been insignificant before. No one is really out of the loop anymore.

Then again like i said human nature is mostly the same, so maybe it really isnt all that different. We just have more tech now. Just a couple thoughts. Interested to hear what others think.
 

OLD GREGG (im back baby)

old gregg for life
I attended school before the social media explosion. People used to have longer attention spans and needed less instant gratification. The world can and will change, always, but if we don't change with the times the times might get ahead of us. It is my strong opinion that maybe the burden of being "connected" is more than what it is worth.

What exactly is it we are connected to again? Besides machines???

I got to know others and myself quite well before social media ever existed. Outside of making new connections, I see no practical use for it honestly. Those people that want to stay connected with you do not need a social media profile; in fact, I think it contributes to separation of familial ties. People will procrastinate over getting in touch with that distant relative that is just a click away-because they are just a click away. Think about it-just my two cents.
 

Myzozoa

to find better ways to say what nobody says
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i went to highschool when facebook was just overtaking myspace, i would say my experience was good, i never had any problems with anyone on social media or other situations (lucky me) but i also only added like 100 people from my high school cohort. I was the student that kept my head down a lot to nap in high school classes, so I just didn't know many ppl and had only a handful of friends I'd see outside of school. i reckon i deleted a handful of people that I got rubbed the wrong way by enough of their posts over the years.

i dont like keeping in contact w anyone through facebook, least of all my family. i dont have anyone that im currently maintaining contact w through facebook (although what the above poster said is true, I am procrastinating on replying to one cousin's 'how are u?' messages), but I have used its apps in the past to keep up with people living in other countries and thats useful.

what is it like to go to high school in the age where no one takes social media as a means of policing populations seriously? i feel like people dont realize their whole life is being tracked through tech, or is supposed to be tracked by tech ( I mean that the tech companies goal is to create a melange of products that can produce a total record of marketing-relevant details about users' lives.)

i had dial up for most of my childhood + pretty young when aol was popular, too young for lot of friends to use it. i began with facebook as soon as i got a real internet connection.
 

Celticpride

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For context, I was in HS from 2009 to 2013. I never used Facebook or Twitter much and really only use FB to keep up with extended family, a few HS friends, and family friends. Twitter nowadays is just a platform where I follow sports writers and a few other things as basically a news app.

One small thing I've noticed is that social media really amplifies social anxiety, especially for quiet people like myself. A twitter or facebook feed thats packed with a few hundred plus friends makes it look like EVERYBODY is doing SOMETHING AWESOME all the time when in reality 10% of your friends or w/e did something and the rest of them were at home playing xbox or doing homework and stuff like that. But a socially anxious person doesn't think that way, they see what's in front of them and think "oh my god everyones doing something, why am i sitting at home doing nothing" when the reality that's normal for most people most of the time.
 

OLD GREGG (im back baby)

old gregg for life
For context, I was in HS from 2009 to 2013. I never used Facebook or Twitter much and really only use FB to keep up with extended family, a few HS friends, and family friends. Twitter nowadays is just a platform where I follow sports writers and a few other things as basically a news app.

One small thing I've noticed is that social media really amplifies social anxiety, especially for quiet people like myself. A twitter or facebook feed thats packed with a few hundred plus friends makes it look like EVERYBODY is doing SOMETHING AWESOME all the time when in reality 10% of your friends or w/e did something and the rest of them were at home playing xbox or doing homework and stuff like that. But a socially anxious person doesn't think that way, they see what's in front of them and think "oh my god everyones doing something, why am i sitting at home doing nothing" when the reality that's normal for most people most of the time.
That's true. My spouse has the same bad habit of taking what she sees online literally. So, I get it. I will tell you the same way I tell her...you cannot forget that people are only ever showing what they want you to see online. They don't typically show the world all that ugliness that is undoubted somewhere down in there. This image you get through the lens of the internets distorts the reality quite a good bit. Some people actually start believing their own bullshit, too. Online they are liked, popular, and nothing bad ever happens; and when it does they just delete it! Remember this every time you see something that makes you feel uneasy. Anyone can lie and be deceptive online but it takes heart to show the world the real you.
 

Lemonade

ᗜbleep bloop I am a robotᗜ
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I believe I use snapchat in the optimal way. No stories, I just see something mildly funny/cool that is hard to describe in text and show a few friends. More like a picture message service and not a blog. Also I think high schoolers these days take a selfie in response to every snap and somehow still snap each other like all day lol.
 

Soul Fly

IMMA TEACH YOU WHAT SPLASHIN' MEANS
is a Contributor Alumnus
same like early millennials and generation x, except unlike them this batch has had their stupidity, mistakes, and cringiness archived online for posterity.
 
Me and my friends just use discord, the feed consists mostly of memes and inside jokes.
We’re weird.
 

Diophantine

慈陰
is a Tutor
I graduated from high school in 2005, over a third of my life past. With social media having grown exponentially (and become a term) since then, I can imagine that the fabric of everyday life of a teenager is vastly different than it was when I was coming of age. I'll try to elaborate on some of the differences of the internet's influence on daily interactions "back in my day" versus now. There is some overlap between the two eras, obviously, so the time periods aren't set in stone. Some of it is a little tongue-in-cheek but anyone from that era who reads this would agree that there is a lot of truth to it. I'm sure I have left out some stuff or gotten something wrong, it's been a while. Maybe another old fogie like WaterBomb or cookie can help shed more light on the middle ages of the internet.

1997 to roughly 2009
  • AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) - A chat client with a buddy list, chatrooms, a small avatar, and a profile of similar size as Smogon's signature fields (without the extremely limited vertical space, of course). User profile usually contained out-of-context song lyrics ending with an ellipsis (Hear we are now... entertain us...), ASCII art, primitive l33tspeak, and garish color schemes. Similar clients were MSN and Yahoo! Messenger, but nowhere near as common. Usually used to speak with your crush that you were scared to talk to at school, just hang out with your buds, or troll your enemies or weak kids. I actually used AIM to chat with Smogoners in my early days in this community, believe it or not. Server shut down last year.
  • LiveJournal / Xanga - precursor to Tumblr, aka blogs that no one read except your close friends, and only when you told them "hey check my latest post!" Surprising amount of freedom regarding formatting and ability to post photos. I think there was a buddy system, but no timeline where you just automatically see whatever your friends post. Used to air grievances and make passive-aggressive statements about people you don't like, share your musical, literary, or cinematic tastes or whatever.
  • SMS Texting - Not nearly as widespread as it is today because most of us were on our parents' phone plans that may not have included it. On my first cell phone, I could receive texts but not send them.
  • Myspace - LiveJournal on steroids, precursor to Facebook. Massive customization (layout, background photo, Top 5), lame apps, ability to upload photos and even music. This gained a lot of traction in my senior year of high school, and due to its novelty, even a shy guy like me could befriend the "popular kids" and form a superficial friendship with them. I graduated at the just the right time to where gossip and drama between my classmates was minimal as we were about to split for college. Had a "wall" system so your friends, enemies, and frienemies had a much higher chance of reading your stuff than the old blog sites.
  • Facebook - needed a .edu email address to join, so there was a short amount of time where I wasn't able to be on Facebook. Minimalistic interface, a stark contrast to Myspace. Seen as the platform for the more sophisticated young adults. Drama was rare as the userbase was much less diverse (generationally) and, like Myspace, it had the novelty factor.
  • Cell Phones - Smart phones were non-existent or extremely rare. Most of us didn't bother asking our parents for Blackberries, nor did we have use for them. I didn't get a smart phone until my Droid in 2010, after I graduated college. I bring this up because our phones were basically for texting and calling. Internet access was available but extremely slow and a lot of pages didn't render correctly. Pages weren't optimized for mobile browsing, for obvious reasons. There was no reason to look at our phones outside of basic functions, because phones were boring. No internet at our fingertips, no push notifications, nothing.
2008 to Current
  • Myspace - Died a long time ago and is basically irrelevant at this point. Even Justin Timberlake couldn't revive this. RIP.
  • Facebook - Registration became open to literally anyone who's not in jail or can read. This has mostly morphed into a place for boomers to talk down to millenials and have toxic arguments with people they haven't seen in 40 years about politics and religion. Young married couples use it as a highlight reel of their lives and share pictures of their toddlers and pets. I suppose there is a big portion of youth that use it regularly but it's not nearly as popular as....
  • Instagram - Specifically for posting photos and now videos I think? I don't have one, but I know plenty of people who do, mostly junior high through young adults. The birth of the selfie. You can frame photos how your wish and add filters so you aren't as ugly as in irl. Boomers and Gen X'ers aren't really present outside of promoting their MLM's or home businesses.
  • Snap chat - I don't have one of these either but my GF does. Pretty popular among junior highers and high schoolers too.
  • Twitter - I honestly think that the only people who should be posting threads on Twitter are those with some sort of influence, either celebrities or "internet famous." If you are a business, or if more than 1000 people, not including friends, know who you are, then I guess you qualify. I just cringe when my average joe friend from high school posts about his daily life. He should be using it to comment on celebrities' tweets and harassing strangers, like the rest of us do.
Why did I even post this?
I'm posting this here because there are a lot of people who were recently in high school or still are, and I have a high regard for the average teen on Smogon. I feel like I can get honest answers out of this userbase. So, how has social media influence your high school experience? Does internet life tie into real life? Is "high school drama" exacerbated by drama that naturally occurs on social media? Are people outwardly vicious on social media but fake nice at school? Does online drama lead to real life, physical harassment and bullying? Other thoughts or discussion points?
Graduated in 2016.
  • Myspace - Got this when I was 11 which I think was the time it was dying. Only like 4 of my friends were on it.

  • MSN - The original place to chat up girls online. So many childhood romances blossomed with MSN as the catalyst. Died when Whatsapp/BlackBerry Messenger came along or when Facebook started getting big.

  • BlackBerry Messenger - I need to mention this one. For a brief spell (let's say 2010-2012) if you didn't have a BB you weren't cool. Scrap what I said about the last one and what I will say about Instagram - BBM was what you used to chat up girls. Broadcasting your mates' pin only to them so you didn't annoy other people, and who can forget "ping for a para/rate x"? BBM was where all the drama and banter happened alongside FB, but was lowkey since teachers couldn't trace it. Fun fact: the London riots were arranged over BBM.

  • Facebook - Oh boy this one was a big one. Countless fights were organised over FB both in and out of school. Let's not forget about the toxic accounts that used to try and "expose" people in school (this happened when I was like 11-14). When I got into Sixth Form (UK equivalent of High School I guess) there were many politics debates on FB that I got involved in with other people in my school. Nowadays, everyone has it but nobody uses it recreationally. I just use it to contact people I need to contact and it's how I usually get invited to things, but I just heard Dan who I met twice at parties when I was 16 got his dream job and Samantha who left my school when I was 14 just gave birth so I congratulated them both through FB.

  • Instagram - I didn't actually have this through school because it's just pictures which I didn't really find an appeal in when I was younger, which is weird considering I was a child/teen model so my job literally was to do this stuff. This is pretty much what people use to show off. So many posh breakfasts or dinners; so many sports team photos; so many selfies and travel pictures. I use it now though, and lowkey dig the narcissism. Aesthetic kids are weird. This was Tinder before Tinder, say my friends who used it back in 2012.

  • Snap chat - I will watch your story not because I give a shit but because I want to get rid of the notification. Also stop telling people every single one of your life problems or describing each of your conflicts using snapchat as a medium. Jokes aside, I love Snap. Pretty funny stuff. Got this when I was 15. Used it for private jokes with friends and flirting with girls I fancied.

  • Twitter - Got this when I was 14. Dropped it and picked it up again when I was 16. I use this one the most. It definitely gives me the most laughs out of all the platforms. Any meme you find on the other social media platforms would have originated from Twitter. There are always arguments between the different sectors of Twitter (SJW Twitter, Fiat 500 Twitter, Black Twitter, Anime avi Twitter, etc etc if you know, you know) which is funny. Nobody is safe from Twitter banter. I'm still in contact through Twitter with people I met when I was 13/14 that I haven't seen since but I vibe with their sense of humour. I actually find out about more news through (and more instantly) through Twitter than by watching the news.
Essentially, social media is someone's online profile, and how they communicate with their peers when not in the same room as them. News travels very quickly and it promotes narcissism. It made school more fun though
 
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I’m graduating from American high school next year, I think I can shed some light on how social media is used nowadays in American school.

Firstly, I don’t have an Instagram and I have never had one. Smogon already fufills my mindless scrolling requirement, so I have no opinion on it at the moment.

I don’t know anyone that uses Facebook regularly still

I have a Snapchat, I have a few streaks but I’m pretty sure ppl use it mainly for shitpost groupchats and to flirt with ppl they’re interested in (I’ve noticed that most streaks, especially the long ones, are typically with someone of the opposite sex). Stories are incredibly dumb as they’re usually pointless bathroom selfies, food, complaining, inside jokes, or cries for help (seriously- my generation has some problems). For my purposes it works, and it’s definitely the platform that almost anyone in my school is on.

My school principal has a Twitter (and a SoundCloud lol) but outside of that I don’t see much twitter in school. Haven’t had an account outside of a grade 9 group account for a bio project about food vacuoles, one of our tweets mentioned how Snorlax must have a lot of food vacuoles and the official Pokémon Go twitter liked it :/

My peers still miss Vine, never got into personally


In my sphere of friends in high school I still feel that social media is ultimately used to organize and meet up face-to-face, but I do know a few people who fit the bill of “phone-addicted teenager”. I’d say the stereotype is true but not super widespread.
 

deetah

Same old shit but a different day
is a Pre-Contributor
I am going into my last year of high school. Hype!

I have never had an Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, although I know a lot, if not most of my peers have at least one of those.

Almost everyone in my school has a Snapchat, and I do as well, and I have a couple of streaks going currently. Most snaps are just girls complaining about school / friend / boy drama, pictures of pets or food, or people just whining about random stuff that I don't really pay much attention to.

I also know that Musical.ly is a popular app for some people, I personally am not into that. I did enjoy Vine from time to time so was kinda disappointed when it went down, but honestly all I currently use is Snapchat and Discord.
 

Surgo

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Old guy checking in (same age as the OP -- graduated high school in 2005, I'm 31). I straight up don't understand how teenagers these days manage to survive with social media invading every aspect of their life. Props to them -- they're way stronger than we were.

Celticpride34 said:
One small thing I've noticed is that social media really amplifies social anxiety, especially for quiet people like myself.
This is a super interesting point. It's true for those of us who are a bit older as well...social media anxiety is a thing among my age group (I'm 31, also graduated in 2005 just like OP!). I'm pretty much over it, but I don't think I could have personally survived high school with social media being a thing.

The thing that gets me is the sudden and stunning lack of anonymity. Before Facebook it was easy to communicate without attaching your real life self to it because that was the default. Now it's flipped. Personally, I wouldn't have been able to deal with that as the internet was my own escape / alternative life. If you're not old enough to have that context and wonder wtf I'm going on about, take a look at cyberpunk and post-cyberpunk media from the time period like Serial Experiments Lain. Nowadays that sort of thing is like a snapshot to the age before Facebook changed the world.
 

Pyritie

TAMAGO
is an Artist
Graduated in 2009 here, but I was pretty oblivious during school and don't remember what was popular with my peers. Most of my internet time was on games like runescape and world of warcraft (in late middle school) and other random vbulletin forums. Myspace existed but I never paid any attention to it. Never used AIM but I had an MSN where I would talk to a few irl and internet friends.
Facebook only started picking up in popularity during the last couple years of high school. I refused to make one until like the week before I graduated where I scrambled trying to add as many people in my grade as I could, mostly just as a way to keep in contact with them afterwards (which of course I never did).
Only had a basic cellphone for a long time. Like NixHex said, they didn't really do much besides calling and texting. I had one of those indestructible nokia 3310's for ages and its battery could last like an entire week before needing a recharge. Didn't own a smartphone until around 2013-14 as I also had a laptop. (And mobile internet wasn't really a thing back then either outside of painfully slow satellite connections)
 
As a teenager that does not own a phone. Quite annoying and stressful. You can’t communicate with your friends as ofte, and you dont have easy access to news.
 

Hipmonlee

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When you hear about “mysterious” kids back in the day and how it was kind of cool to be unknown, that is almost unheard of now.
This was always more of a movie trope than anything real. People like the idea of being a cool outsider, but in reality dont actually like outsiders much...

When I was in highschool you would get teased for having a cell phone.
 

NixHex

I do not recall. I do not recall.
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When I was in highschool you would get teased for having a cell phone.
This is pretty interesting. Was it because it was "dorky?" I imagine any kid who had a cell phone basically got it from their over-protective parents in order to keep tabs on them, especially if none of their classmates had one. Interestingly enough, my sister is old enough to have had a pager in high school (she's old enough to be some of smogon staff members' mother); she was the first born and misbehaved a lot, and i imagine that was the motivation behind getting her one. Also I'm kinda glad this thread was bumped, I learned quite a bit from the few people that responded initially and I remember it being a fun write-up.
 
This thread is super relevant omfg. I dont want to say kids these days but omfg kids these days. I genuinely feel bad for them. I know what they're going through and a majority of it starts in middle school and sometimes even late elementary school. They are growing up in a time where they are constantly comparing themselves to other people because of social media. Its heartbreaking how much added stress is involved with the current lifestyle.

On another note I think the self deprecating humor trend is an unheslthy coping mechanism for this. It makes them feel better and it helps them acknowledge that their life blows. This is not a healthy way of coping with stress. Because it's not longer just complaining but its verbally putting yourself down.

EDIT: Sophmore in College here which means I graduated in summer of 2018
 
This thread is super relevant omfg. I dont want to say kids these days but omfg kids these days. I genuinely feel bad for them. I know what they're going through and a majority of it starts in middle school and sometimes even late elementary school. They are growing up in a time where they are constantly comparing themselves to other people because of social media. Its heartbreaking how much added stress is involved with the current lifestyle.

On another note I think the self deprecating humor trend is an unheslthy coping mechanism for this. It makes them feel better and it helps them acknowledge that their life blows. This is not a healthy way of coping with stress. Because it's not longer just complaining but its verbally putting yourself down.

EDIT: Sophmore in College here which means I graduated in summer of 2018
Graduating high school this year

It’s clear when it’s a joke and when it’s not to me.

There are people who are like “xd kill myself hahah” and people who actually make funnier jokes but maybe that’s just because I’m a zoomer with a really weird sense of humor.

Like the other day someone told me they’re gonna go take a nice bath with their toaster and it cracked me up
 
I have to say that from my experiences of upper school I've generally tended to avoid most contact with social media, so not much of my upper school life is really tied to it. But I will say that people do pressure you to get certain forms of social media even if you don't want to and sometimes this can be extremely irritating if all you're looking for is a small group of close friends like I was. I'll explain my experiences chronologically, in terms of year.

First off, I live in the UK, so our grade system is slightly different. We go on from year 9 to year 11, and then year 12 and 13 if we want to do diploma level courses. This is mirrored by 9th and 10th for the 'upper school' years and 11th and 12th for sixth form years. I'm not sure on the exact specifics of how you can change between them. So:
Year 9 - Not much happened in this year social media wise. Not much really happened in this year to begin with tbh. So of course, my memories of this point in time are fairly small, and what I can remember is coming out of my cringy phase and realizing what I was doing on social media platforms prior to this was bad and basically stopped communicating on all of them except in the cases where I wanted to talk to family. For this I mainly used Skype, and this would continue to be my main communication until Year 11. One note is that I used to be on a community forum for Terraria before quitting and moving to Smogon, but in general I would prefer not to talk about those times. *shudder*

Year 10 - Facebook started popping up in conversations a bit more now and I started to notice more of the self-deprecating humour going around. To be totally honest this year was a time of major change to me - I was on a roll in my studies and I had absolutely nothing stopping me from doing a few hours of work because I was interested in the topics we were learning. However as I realized nobody cared (not even the teachers did and it was somewhat disruptive tbh) and school started to become more apparent to me that it was 'sit down and do what you're told' rather than actual learning made me look into other things that were going on. I tended to shy away from Skype now that my friends weren't really contacting me and my main experiences with social media were with online friends and things just tended to be seperated quite nicely. However at the end of this year I rejoined Smogon because I was bored out of my mind (worst decision of my life by the way) and found Discord again. This paid a good role into how I used social media and how I like to keep my online and offline lives far enough away from eachother so that my interests don't clash with my relationships.

Year 11 - At the start of the year, pressures to get Facebook were ramping up, and I ended up giving in December 2016 when I first tried to create a profile that was intended to be incognito. It got criticized so I actually made a profile of me, and got introduced to an app that I use for offline chat known as Messenger. In particular this was cool as it was another well known messaging app but I felt like I was balancing too many things at once sometimes. Fast forward a few months from this I met a very special friend of mine which social media would play a fair part in helping me bond with them, chatting back and forth through Skype and different groupchats until we too eventually moved to Messenger. Between this we just organized events to do in person and nothing big was really done online. Cool year but again, not too big with social media.

Year 12 - Had a falling out with said friend early in the year and it hurt me pretty bad to say the least. Got a lot of my feelings out to the people on different Smogon discords, particularly the Mix and Mega discord and a place that would later be known as the 'hehe boi alliance'. I also tended to share my feelings with their significant other ironically (through Messenger) and this went on for some time. What was probably the most involved for this time was the things that went on with me trying to get them and my other friend group to merge, in a way, and lots of shady stuff ended up happening that I wouldn't learn until Year 13. This year was a dark year in social media for me - I almost got my way back up but just kept falling down into the pit of necessary communication.

Year 13 - Easily the year I was most involved in social media. A few months prior to this my friend got back together with me and whilst my groups were now split it effectively opened up more places for me to go. I experimented with friends, old and new, and actually started to talk to other people that I hadn't known as well. Messenger was big in this because it provided both an effortless way for my friends to contact me and for me to contact my friends, and our class groupchats were formed here (this may have been in Year 12). In general this made communication significantly better and I feel this is the net positive that social media brought to my life as I actually felt very happy with myself for this year. Memes were definitely flying around more often too - with almost 100% of people browsing their phones at some point during break and lunch, you'd be sure to get a good laugh out of the day. And that often amplified the amount of crazy stuff you'd have during that time too. This was probably the year I ended up having the best overall relationship with people, as I had multiple groups I could amalgamate into especially if members weren't feeling very great about my presence (which happened quite a bit, I was still fairly clingy to some members). End of year was also excellent - being given the title of 'prize fish' by my maths class was definitely a morale boost!

Overall I don't think social media played much of a negative role in my upper school. Sure, you got the idiots who would be on their phones and this felt much more amplified in the lower years as time went on but I generally saw no real problem when it came to looking at it. Whilst yes, it did increase the behavioural and attention gap between students and teachers I feel this is vastly overexaggerated by most people and thus it tends to produce the rather generic 'phone bad' idea whereas the bigger issues were probably with the town infrastructure / drug dealing making some children absolutely insufferable.

TL;DR upper / high school is actually a good time to introduce people to social media. It may be slightly early for some people but it definitely provides more positives than negatives for schools, and if there is major disruption then the students are likely gone by sixth form. Infrastructure could probably be changed to better support it too but that would be smart and I don't trust the government to do that no matter who's in power, haha
 

Hipmonlee

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I imagine any kid who had a cell phone basically got it from their over-protective parents in order to keep tabs on them, especially if none of their classmates had one.
That, plus mobile phones were associated with yuppies. So you would get the "I need those reports on my desk and I need them yesterday" kind of shtick.

But if your friends all dont have mobile phones then what would you even need it for.
 
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