At Business Insider’s Ignition conference, a handful of NYC teenagers took the stage to talk about media and technology, and more importantly, what they think is cool (and not cool.)
The results were varied from some of the things we’ve heard repeated a lot in the news. These eight teens — all high schoolers from five boroughs — say Facebook isn’t dead. They also say they use email, and some of them even use, gasp, their phones to make actual phone calls.
Stephanie Retblatt of Smarty Pants interviewed the teenagers, and while we know their views and opinions don’t represent a whole generation, their insights were very interesting.
Vine, Instagram and Buzzfeed
“I’m totally over Vine,” one girl confessed. “Ever since Instagram came out with video it’s like Vine is just…there.”
Her peers didn’t exactly echo her sentiments, but agree that they love Instagram.
“It’s senior year,” another girl said, “so I go to pretty places and take pretty pictures.”
When asked how much time the teens spend on Instagram, you could hear a collective groan mixed with uneasy laughter.
“Too long,” one of the 18-year-old boys admitted. “You can get lost and lose track of time.”
Another girl agreed the same thing happens when she logs onto websites like Buzzfeed, mentioning the site’s addictive quizzes — “What food are you?” was an example given — and its video content.
One of the girls admitted: “Sometimes I’ll just spend hours on Buzzfeed and then I’ll look up from the computer and I’ll be like…’why did I just do that?'”
And of course — Facebook!
Like we mentioned above, this crew says the site isn’t dead. But the ways that they use Facebook may surprise you.
One teenage boy said he disabled the voluminous Newsfeed all together and only uses the social network to organise his ultimate Frisbee games.
One girl said she only joined Facebook because her “Grandma made an account” (but admits she has yet to accept Grandma’s friend request!)
Others said it was good for school, citing that some of their teachers have created pages for their classes to post updates, notes, and homework assignments. In fact, they all said they use their phones, iPads, and computers to study, and that there’s a world of apps to help them with their school work.
“What’s something you think people don’t understand about teens?” Retblatt opened the floor at the end of the talk, and all of the kids on the panel were really adamant about making sure that the audience (and the moderator) understood that they weren’t just “dumb kids who are obsessed with their cell phones.”
“We want adults to understand that we’re intelligent people, we don’t just use our phones for stupid things, and we even like talking to each other face-to-face,” one of the teens explained.
“And also, yes, email is still a thing,” another chimed in.