Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Local Teens Unfriending...
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Local Teens Unfriending Facebook

Ariana Hendrix - July 14th, 2014  

Teens are leading a new trend away from Facebook and toward a stream of new social media options—some of which have local school officials concerned.

As the popularity of newer, quicker, “cooler” social networks continues to rise, Facebook has seen a dramatic drop in users—6 million in the United States just in the last month— and trends show that the middle- and high-school age demographic is one of the biggest contributors.

Why are teens turning away from Facebook? Because their parents and grandparents are using it -- and watching, commenting on, and monitoring their activity.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily ‘out,’” says Grace, a 14 year-old at Traverse City West Senior High. “Most of the people my age still have a Facebook, but we’re definitely moving away from it. A lot of our parents have gone on, and all the family is on Facebook now.”

Erin Monigold, owner of TC-based Social Vision Marketing, says statistics validate Grace and her friends. While Facebook usage among teens has dropped, its highest growing group is baby boomers – those 55 and up.

With teens’ shift away from Facebook, a myriad of new social networking apps have continued to pop up. Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine, Kik, Pheed, and Ask.fm are what local teens say are most popular now, many of which aren’t even in most adults’ lexicons.

Of course, with expression among teens comes the possibility for inappropriate behavior or misuse, which is where school officials become concerned.

One of the most controversial apps is Snapchat, a photo-messaging service that now has 350 million users, most of whom are 13- 23 year-olds. Snapchat allows users to send photos and videos that self-destruct after (at most) ten seconds, offering a seemingly consequence-free environment. However, it’s possible for recipients to take “screen shots” of received images, saving photos that might have otherwise been deleted.

A fall 2013 Traverse City Central High School newsletter alerted parents to some of the new media—including Snapchat—suggesting that parents should be aware of what their students are using, and for what purposes.

Across town at TC West Senior High, Principal Joe Tibaldi agrees that parents should be made aware of what’s new, and that students should be educated in social media’s consequences.

“I think social media can be beneficial, depending on how it’s used,” Tibaldi says. “But some are riskier than others, so we try to educate students about the ramifications. We plan to have a parent meeting again this year on social media to let parents know how they can monitor it better.”

For most teens, new types of social media are simply another way to have fun and connect with friends.

“Honestly, for me, Snapchat is me and my friends making ugly faces at each other to be funny. I haven’t noticed anyone in my age group using it for anything inappropriate,” says Grace.

Ultimately, says Monigold, whether it’s Facebook or any of its competitors, social media will continue to change, becoming a natural part of communication to which all demographics will have to adjust.

“Social media is constantly evolving; it’s really the nature of the beast.”

This article was adapted from a piece in the Traverse City Ticker

 
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