AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Disturbing? HuffPost Piece on Teen Girls and their iPhones

Posted by jennywang6 on May 23, 2013

In a recent Huffington Post article entitled “What Really Happens On A Teen Girl’s iPhone,” the author details the social networking/iPhone habits of an average fourteen-year-old girl, Casey Schwartz.  This piece details how apps, imessages, various social networking sites, and other online applications have come to dominate Schwart’z teenage existence:

“Here are just a few of the things Casey regularly tracks: the number of contacts stored on her iPhone (187); the number of people following her on Instagram (around 580); the number of people who’ve asked to follow her on Instagram, but she’s refused to accept (more than 100); the number of people following her Tumblr blog (more than 100); her high score on Dots (almost 400); the number of photos she stores on her phone (363, fewer than before because she’s maxed out her phone’s memory); the number of photos her friends store on their phones (around 800); the number of people she’s friends with on Facebook (1,110) and the number of acquaintances who’ve quit Facebook (three or four). She also uses the app InstaFollow to keeps tabs on who’s unfollowed her on Instagram (she quickly unfollows those who defect).”

Schwartz even describes the alienation of another teenage girl from their friend group due to the her parents’ inability to upgrade her to an iPhone.

One has to question the existential crisis that our generation and generations thereafter will face when our personal identities and self-value are so closely tied to our numbers of “followers”, “likes”, “retweets”, and so on and so forth.  Don’t get me wrong–your own personal brand is more important than ever in this day and age.  However, having a personal brand doesn’t always translate into having substance.  We walk a fine line between letting social media add to our identity and having social media completely take over our identity.  Reading pieces like this HuffPost article only makes me a little more wary.

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