Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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