Teenagers and Social Media

It is commonly believed that teenagers can be very irresponsible when it comes to decision-making. This could be due to peer pressure, or just reckless thinking. What a lot of teens stress about the most is their social identity. What kinds of clothes they wear, what kind of music they listen to — just about anything you can think of, really. Now that social media is an avid thing in our lives, teens can now express themselves more openly. However, can this be regarded as a positive or negative thing?

Mostly negative. Especially over the Internet. I say this because we tend to do things that we can regret later on without knowing that we’ll regret it. Teens are capable of doing a ton of stupid things that they may regret in the future. Anything that is posted on the Internet can’t be fully taken off, and some kids might slip up and post something that was probably supposed to be private. This makes others have a negative impact on one’s identity.

This can also lead to misunderstandings and nasty remarks, usually from people behind their computer screens or phones. And they aren’t as afraid to do it from afar than they would be when it’s up close and personal. People can act completely different when they speak through text in the comfort of their own home versus being face to face and talking to someone. Humans are very social creatures, and we rely on one another more than we think. Taking away the real life interaction causes us to act a little differently towards people, and not in a good way, usually. To summarize,

Go outside, will you?

teenage-brain

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Portal 2 and how its ARG Impacted its Success

It’s hard to deny that social media impacts video games in a big way. For reference, take a look at the recently released Destiny. The game generated so much hype through every social media outlet imaginable, and its advertising campaign was probably more expensive than the budget for actually making the game.

Like it mattered. Heck, the game made back all of the money used to make it on the first day of sales. Sure, many of us were overjoyed to finally start playing the game, but a lot of us were also underwhelmed by the actual experience. The game was just “over-hyped” as some of us would say. There have been other video games that have generated hype in a more unique way.

Let’s look at Portal 2, made by Valve, and its ARG. What is an ARG? ARG stands for “Alternate Reality Game” and in short, it’s an intricately made interactive networked narrative in real time. What this means is that the Portal Community was given subtle hints through different Valve games such as Team Fortress 2 and various Valve-owned websites. Much hype was generated from this as you can imagine, as it had the community going crazy and finding patterns and other connections from one hint to the next. You don’t see a lot of games getting people excited like this every day. It’s definitely an interesting contrast to how Destiny bloated its advertising to appeal to the masses.

Link to a large summary of the ARG: http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1824635

A glimpse of what some of the ARG showcased.

A glimpse of what some of the ARG showcased.

Social Media Today

Cell-phones

“Our social tools are not an improvement to modern society, they are a challenge to it.” ― Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

My take on social media today is that it’s a blessing and a curse. It is undoubtedly useful for anyone because it has many uses. You can contact a friend or family member from the other side of the world, you’re able to keep up to date with the latest trends and news easily, and many, many more convenient things come out of it. It’s not hard to see that it’s taking the world by storm, for better or for worse. I say this because with all the information we have access to in seconds, we start to get more and more impatient with generally anything in our daily lives, really. Checking your cell phone becomes second nature, and that isn’t a very good thing at all, because your attention span starts to break down, and next thing you know you fail a course because you couldn’t keep your eyes off of a four-inch screen for more than five minutes.  Overall, I think that social media is something that is here to stay for a long time, but we all need to think for ourselves and use social media in moderation. Patience is a virtue. A boring virtue, but a virtue nonetheless.