Media Now students discuss relationship with social media

Media Now students discuss relationship with social media

Alexa Buechler and Austin Woods

Paige Eichkorn, a Shawnee Mission Northwest senior, rolls out of bed each morning and dives straight for her phone. She taps the Snapchat application and swipes left to view all the stories. She presses her finger on her own story to view how many people appear on the screen.

“I look at how many people view my story,” said Eichkorn. “It’s cool to see my friends’ stories too.”

When asked what she puts on Snapchat, she answered, “Everything.”

Paige Eichkorn's twitter profile
Paige Eichkorn’s twitter profile

“I’m starting to do videos more. I’m not that good at taking videos, but I like zooming in and out,” she said. “Or, if you’re in a different city, like Kansas City, they have a cool filter for it.

“I feel like they [someone without social media] would feel left out and miss out on seeing themselves in a picture,” continued Eichkorn.

Many students have reported that social media has improved the standard of living throughout the Media Now camp. Eichkorn said that she found her dorm room without effort because she looked it up on the Media Now hashtag. During the camp’s opening ceremony, Eichkorn — known as @paigetaylor_97 on Twitter — won an award for favoriting every Media Now tweet from the last 365 days.

“Social media has helped me see what’s going on and different contests [on campus] and the daily schedule,” she said.

Lauren Price lives that no-media life
Lauren Price lives that no-media life

For journalists, social media allows access to people’s thoughts and reports in a pinch.

“I think social media is way faster than going on a website to get information. On Twitter, all you have to do is scroll to get news,” said Eichkorn.

Like many people, Eichkorn’s believes that using social media is necessary in today’s cultural landscape.

“It helps to share information, get the word out, and brings you in on things you didn’t know,” said Erica Smith, Social Media instructors at Media Now. “In this camp, you’re missing out on a lot if you don’t have social media.”

Contrary to popular belief, people with little to no social media presence do, in fact, exist. According to a Pew Research Center study, 71% of teens aged 13 to 17 use more than one social media outlet, but 22% of that demographic have only one.

Lauren Price, senior at Francis Howell North, has only a Snapchat account.

“I don’t really care what some people are doing, and I was kind of late getting into it, so I didn’t really bother,” Price said.

But at camps such as Media Now, which places heavy emphasis on social media to access schedules, activity times, and contests, social media profiles are considered necessary to a student’s survival on campus.

“I don’t think it’s a problem that I can’t see what everyone else is doing,” Price said. “I don’t really feel left out.”

“It’s not a do or die thing,” Price said. “So what if you don’t get to see everybody else’s lives?”