Cryptography

The History and Mathematics of Codes and Code Breaking

Tag: Instagram

The Different Social Medias

In chapter 2 of Its Complicated: The Social Life of Networked Teens, author Danah Boyd jumps into the role social media plays in the lives of today’s youth. Specifically, she analyzes how much youth want to share, and how much they want to keep private. While reading the book book, I found the statement “As discussed in the introduction, technical affordances and design defaults do influence how teens understand and use particular social media, but they don’t dictate practice” particularly interesting. As I look back on my experience as a teen, it is very intriguing to me to think about what social medias were used for what purposes.

For me, instagram was and still is the main social media platform in my life. Instagram was originally structured as a photo sharing app. The main thing you could do was post photos of yourself for the world to see. It was a user to world communication rather than a user to user communication. Since then, instagram has added user to user communication, but because its original purpose was to post pictures of oneself, people’s main use of an instagram account is still to portray themselves to the world. 

Another social media I have used whose structure influenced its usage was ask.fm. In short, ask.fm was terrible. In ask.fm, each user had an account. Onj your account, people can anonymously ask you questions in your inbox. You could then choose to answer those questions, and your answers would appear on your profile. Because of the text-based anonymity, ask.fm became a hub for middle school bullying, There was a high level of privacy, but that only have license for kids to be mean because they knew they wouldn’t get caught. 

Why We (Teens) Post

“Adults complain that teens are wasting their time publicizing trivia, whereas teens feel as though their audience can filter out anything that appears to be irrelevant.” (Boyd, 62).

Yes. Adults are correct. As teens we tend to post things online that others may or may not find enticing. However when we post we hope that our followers will interact favorably towards the content. My friend Gabby and I were actually discussing this earlier this year one late night. The other day, instagram announced that they would soon experiment with taking away the “like” function of their app. Users would still be able to “like” pictures and videos, however only the creator of the content could view the amount of likes the post received. Like Nikki Minaj, I hated this idea. Unfortunately the point of instagram is to gain followers and “likes”, not to actually connect with friends. Deleting this aspect of the app would completely defeat the purpose of posting. Because of this, I can see why parents believe us teens are wasting our time.

However, I also agree with the notion that if people don’t actually care about my content they will not waste time viewing it. Although I post pictures partially because I believe my viewers might enjoy it in some capacity, I also do it for myself. Instagram is a great modern-day picture book. It has all of my favorite pictures from the years on one easy page. If someone doesn’t like what I am posting, they simply ignore it. Just like if someone posts a picture that I do not like, I will not “like” it, I’ll just continue scrolling. 

 

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