Are you doing high school right?

Welcome to the first of many topics to be covered in “Are you doing high school right?” Huron Emery column to hit the dos and don’ts of high school and life as a teenager.

Jaden Boster, Staff Writer

In a metropolis of teenagers like high school, has social media become required?

There’s an assumption that all teens love social media. Assumptions are usually based on observations. I’m sure we can all observe that many of our friends do use social media to connect with each other and the world. Social media has become our modern shadow following us everywhere and always.

I started using social media in eighth grade because everyone I was surrounded by had it. I felt like I was left out of a world everyone else was plugged into. I was completely clueless to the social rules these apps were run by. Everyone knows the social rules of the mall or the grocery store, like you walk down on one side and walk up on the other, but when it comes to social media it’s a new world with different standards. For instance when I was first introduced to the idea of “streaks” in Snapchat I was completely baffled by the concept. It made no sense to me that people were just sending pictures back and forth just to have a number with a flame stating how many days in a row you had snapped the person. Now I have friends who have streaks of more than 500 days, though none of my own streaks are as impressive, I am still a part of this norm.

Each of us must follow the social media rules or be at risk for absolute humiliation. It starts as soon as you download social apps and create your own account. The insistence of being perfect through a screen is set into motion. Snaps, notifications, dings, tweets, DMs keep you in a constant state of connection. Learning the language of the apps is critical to your social success. Heaven forbid you get left on open.

The rules of social media are complex. Some rules apply to all social media apps and some rules only apply to some of the social media apps.

  • Don’t follow or add your parents or grandparents
  • Don’t get caught stocking by liking someone’s old photos
  • Don’t watch a story of someone you don’t follow
  • Don’t follow more people than the amount who follow you
  • Don’t screenshot
  • Don’t post something that won’t get likes
  • Don’t reply too fast
  • Don’t reply too slow
  • Don’t set yourself up to be left on open
  • Don’t start the conversation unless you’re the one who should start the conversation
  • Don’t post too much
  • Don’t post too little
  • Do avoid embarrassment by following the rules

So what happens if you break a rule?
Looking at all of this written, we can draw the conclusion that none of this matters or that it matters more than we realized. The world of social media is almost like an illusion; it only matters as much as you let it matter or as much as the people around you let it matter.

Social media is our tool to be connected to one another and it helps us to build friendships. It was critical during the pandemic and I guess we were very lucky  to have it so that we could be connected to other teenagers. I am finding now that we are all back in the same building, I personally prefer seeing everyone in person and having actual face to face conversations to snapping back and forth.