We know that different people use social media in distinct ways, often based on gender, age, income, etc. But how about looking at the perceptions of social media use by public school teachers versus students?

Consider these observations by Kati Lepi, writing for Edudemic:

“It turns out I was right – at least according to the handy infographic below, which details how both teachers and students [high school] view some of the more popular social media platforms. Facebook is for old people (according to students) – so I wasn’t too far off. I’m old (apparently). And with just about the expected amount of no surprise, teachers and students see each platform quite differently. Teachers’ favorites are not student favorites, and vice versa. And those that are popular with both are not necessarily for the same reasons.”

What do YOU think? Click the infographic to read more.



28 Replies to “Teacher Versus Student Perceptions of Social Media”

  1. I would have to agree with most aspects of how students and teacher’s see social media, I feel that once adults learn how to use certain social media websites it deters young adults from using the website as much.

  2. This is funny. Haha. Is FB for “old people”? I guess then my friends and me are old. We love snapchat but sometimes Im upset with the fact that you cant keep the pic/video on it. I feel so sad for Google+, hahaha. Both teachers and students dont use it.

  3. I believe that this chart is quite accurate. The younger generation is starting to lean away from Facebook and more towards Twitter for typing purposes and Instagram and Snapchat for pictures. While the older generation is still a big fan of Facebook and is liking Twitter but also seeking other sites for entertainment such as Pinterest. I was actually a little surprised to notice that the older generation is using pretty much all the apps and sites except Snapchat. This generation is still keeping up with the digital age which I find impressive.

  4. I find this analysis incredibly accurate and amusing. Younger people, including students, tend to get tired and bored of social media sites just as adults are starting to use them. I don’t necessarily think that Facebook is “just for old people”, but I have noticed a lack of Facebook interest among members of my generation. I think that since everything is so fast-paced, students are keen to discover need social media sites and be the first to be connected in different ways. I am actually surprised that so many teachers responded as using other social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. There is a tendency to think that members of older generations are not technologically savvy and refrain from using the “hip” social media sites.

  5. I do not agree with this analysis completely. I believe Facebook has been passed on to the older generation more now. But, I do not think that adults do not use snap chat. I know plenty of adults who do. Instagram is definitely more younger people oriented. I think twitter is sort of dying out, I personally do not use it anymore. My favorite is snap chat and Instagram.

  6. Before Instagram or Snapchat came around and before Twitter really caught on, Facebook was at the forefront for social media – and widely used by high school and college students. I would agree, though, that over the past few years Facebook has been “moved to the back burner” as a social media – especially with young people. However, Facebook is not a forgotten social media for young people and is definitely not just for old people. I think with the popularity of so many other social media sites, many young people spread their social media use throughout many different sites. Most adults do the majority of their social media through Facebook. This is probably why it seems that Facebook is “for old people”. Facebook is for everyone and used by everyone; it is just used less often by the younger generation.

  7. I definitely agree that when adults start using a social media site, it deters younger people from using it. When I got Facebook, it was the “cool thing to do” and adults wouldn’t even bother trying to figure it out. But as teachers and parents started to make accounts, fewer teenagers wanted to spend their time posting about all of the parties they went to last weekend or updates on their love lives. I still use Facebook to keep up with what other people are doing, and to upload pictures and share them with my friends, but I don’t ever post statuses anymore or use it like I did when I was in high school. I think that Twitter is still a “safe zone” but social media sites rise up and die out unexpectedly, so who knows what the future holds. But it is definitely not surprising that teachers and students have conflicting views on social media.

  8. I think that social media has become so prevalent in today’s culture that later generations feel like they are being left behind if they do not use these websites as well. As soon as that happens, however, that is when younger generations feel like the apps are outdated and start to look like they are for older people. It is no different than any other circumstance that has taken place in society between adults and students. The younger of the two groups generally starts a fad, which then the older group begins to admire and wants to be a part of. Consequently, the younger people stop using the item, website, clothing, etc. now that fad is for “old people.” It is no surprise to me that these reactions towards social media are happening. It has happened countless times – such as with clothes like bell bottoms – and will continue to happen in years to come.

  9. I think this is surprisingly funny and accurate. When I think of Facebook, I think of my teachers and older family members using it. Although my friend group used to be very active on it a few years ago, they all slowly moved to other social media sites when older people began using it. I also think the captions referring to students is painfully accurate as well, such as twitter. Younger people don’t realize that what they post online can be viewed by anyone and that what they post now could potentially affect their chances of getting a job years from now. Though most of the captions didn’t surprise me, it was still interesting to see how each group views the medias.

  10. Since Facebook first launched, there has been a rise in a number of other social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc. The younger kids these days have begun to use these forms of social media because that’s what popular to them at the time. I know when I was in middle school, Facebook was the coolest. However, when kids parents made Facebook accounts and became more active on the site, kids viewed it as taking the the fun and “cool” factor out of it because now Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles and even Grandparents want to be “friends” on Facebook. I know many people now my age have become less active on Facebook so that is why they may view it as a place where “old people” interact, post pictures and comment on each others status updates.

  11. I’m actually not too sure on this one. I guess maybe I have a different view on social media than other students do. In no way do I think that facebook is just for old people. Although im not a constant facebook user, I still think its fun once in a while to look through photos and reminisce and connect with old friends. I think adults use it for a lot of the same reason. Its good to connect with people from your past, and although we don’t have as much of a past as adults do yet, I still think lots of teens to 20 year olds are still addicted to the social media website. Some social media such as snapchat, I do think is more of a young persons app. Adults just don’t really understand why we like sending pics to each other and to be honest, neither do I, but it sure is amusing sometimes. So although I don’t agree on all of these feedbacks, maybe im just different than most, but I do think students like to be separated from adults in the social media world. It’s just that sometimes, we would like some privacy, and not every adult gets that.

  12. It is funny to see how different generations perceive the same social media. Essentially, we all do the same thing on them–connect with others, find out current happenings, etc. Facebook is “old” only because the older generations are now catching up on the trend, not because of its functions or purposes. I personally still use Facebook to share photos and connect with people. I know many others who constantly update their statuses. So essentially, Facebook isn’t “old.” I believe the younger generations just feels it’s old because of the older generations use of it. As for Twitter and Instagram, I feel that the different ways generations use these social media outlets determine whether it is “old.” With Twitter, I see a lot of my generation tweeting funny one-liners or personal random happenings; however, with my parents, professors or business people I follow, I find there tweets to be less funny and more business or class related (more serious). On Instagram, my generation is completely self-obsessed. Selfies dominate in the world of Instagram, something I don’t think the older generations quite have wrapped their mind around yet. The different ways generations use social media defines its “coolness.” And I believe it’s the different uses that keep social media “hip and happening.” These social media outlets will continue to be popular among my generation….until the older generations starts using #YOLO on Twitter or posting selfies on Instagram, then we are all out!

  13. I think the funniest one was the Google+ one because that social networking platform never took off to the extent that all the other ones did. To add to her point, some social networks realize these views and try to market towards younger people. I was on Facebook the other day and saw this add for a social networking site and the ad said “Your mother is on Facebook but she’s not on our site! Join Today” I can’t remember the name of the site but it was funny and related to this.

  14. The evolution of Facebook users has come a long way. When Facebook first came out it was intended for college students to be able to connect through a public forum. Then teeny-boppers got in on it. Once parents and grandparents jumped on the bandwagon, kids started deleting their Facebook accounts. I think Facebook is a lot more useful for teachers to be able to network.

  15. I definitely feel that as more and more people from older generations join a form of social media more and more people from the younger generations lessen their use of it or shy away from it completely. When Facebook first started to be used by high school students I joined and used every aspect of it possible. As time went on and more people from the older generations joined I limited my use of it and made sure to keep my profile extremely professional. Many people from my generation turned to twitter after this happened, however I could see the same pattern occurring for twitter later on.

  16. There is definitely a difference in the way kids view social media apps and the way adults view social media apps. When Facebook first started, it was open to anyone willing to use it but mainly kids were the only ones actually on it. Today, however, more and more adults are on Facebook which makes kids see the site as “uncool” because kids want to use their social media apps to “get away” from their parents and not be judged by what they do or write on it at the dinner table. Which is why more and more kids have gravitated to Twitter and Instagram and have basically abandoned Facebook. I view the social media sensation as a never ending cycle because eventually more adults will gravitate to those apps and then kids will find another app to use to get away from their parents. Parents want to be able to interact and see what their kids are doing online but kids don’t want them to see what their doing. It’s not that kids don’t like their parents and don’t want to see them on social media apps, they just want their freedom to do what they please without a family member embarrassing them on a site or being judged for something they said online.

  17. I feel that the different age groups do have different perceptions of the social media sites. I feel that the stigma that “old” people are on Facebook now is true, but that’s because the younger generation has had Facebook for longer, and is now moving away, and that now many grandparents (like mine) have a Facebook. I think that people are moving away from Facebook is that now parents have the ability to see everything that you are doing. I think the comment on the google plus app for both teacher and student was really funny, and accurate. I remember getting a goole plus account, and i think I have used it three times. Another funny comment on the teacher’s side was about snapchat. In all I really liked this graph because of the stereotypes of each social media site.

  18. I think it’s funny that there always has to be a sort of social class for everything! And now this even includes apps! Young people are obsessed with staying ahead and catching the latest trends. God forbid someone over the age of 50 creates a social media account! It always causes such a fuss! A lot of young people refuse to even add their parent or family members on Facebook or other media platforms because they want to hide their social lives! Despite an increasing number of older social media users, teenagers and young adults are still the highest users! This chart proves that the stereotypes for social media are here to stay!

  19. I think there is a level of accuracy to this chart, but not completely. While the older generation has definitely started using Facebook quite significantly more then they used to, I think it is definitely still in high use. I think the issue here is that once the “older” generation starts using something, it becomes “un-cool” so even if there are still using facebook, they would rather flaunt other forms of social media. There is also an obsession in todays young culture with taking pictures of everything and anything, mostly themselves. Social media is definitely moving towards a photo phase, more then typing. Making apps like snapchat and instragram overwhelmingly popular. This chart does pose funny stereotypes, but I think they are pretty accurate to a certain extent.

  20. It’s actually incredible how accurate and very funny this chart is. Most of them are spot on, and all of them are hilarious. My favorite by far is Facebook because I know for a fact back in 2007 it was the place to be and parents were very against it much like when the Myspace craze came out. Now however it has become a spot for older generations to connect and for younger kinds to occasionally gather but our age ground doesn’t use it as much. I know for a fact that I block my parents from seeing many things on my Facebook because I don’t need them always on my business (don’t tell them that though).

    The only social media I think they forgot was Linkedin. With my experience both teenagers and adults use it for the same purpose, but I do believe a lot of younger people misuse Linkedin in favor of just connecting with people who are celebrities or big shot employers rather than just using it to get their resume out there, but that’s just my opinion.

  21. I completely disagree with the Facebook one! I prefer Facebook over Twitter. I use Facebook to connect with my distant family and with my friends. On twitter you don’t get the same interaction as Facebook. On twitter I feel like it’s much more impersonal. You can reply and retweet, but it’s not the same as liking or commenting on a Facebook post. I don’t think Facebook is for old people at all.

    The other social media definitions I do agree with! My mom still doesn’t understand the whole Snapchat concept and Pinterest is spot on. My mom uses it for crafts and I use it to procrastinate. The google plus is also humorous. I still don’t know anyone who actually uses it. I only have one because I have a YouTube account, which speaking of, they should have added YouTube on there as well.

  22. It seems a bit odd to classify Facebook as “for old people.” Come on now! We all still use Facebook and its without a doubt the social network with the highest user membership by a long shot. Though older users have adopted it far quicker than other popular apps amongst predominantly younger age groups. Twitter’s comparison I love because of the ways its used; Teachers use the hashtag conservatively and with purpose, versus students who overuse hashtags for things that ought not be tagged. Instagram is going to grow a lot I believe in the coming year. Mostly because its application is efficient and effective for all age groups. Anyone could see a beautiful sunset and share it with the world. Providing an app for tablets and enhanced desktop view would certainly enhance the user experience and participation though. Google + seems ignored, though Google is working to change that. Google Hangouts are becoming an increasing popular video-chatting tool, and other Google services (Google Play Music, Books, Apps, Youtube, etc.) could be better incorporated to + in the near future, rolling out a very strong social media contender for 2014. Adults absolutely utilize Pinterest most of all, and its fascinating to see how fast they’ve adopted it compared to younger groups (as indicated from statistics in another blog post.) Finally, Snapchat, which has been around the shortest of all, has gained a lot of traction very fast. The question is, will the popularity last?

  23. I always felt that social media sites are always made big by young adults (teenagers) and then slowly taken over by adults; this has happened with Facebook and Pintrest and is happening now with twitter and Instagram. I definitely think that social media is moving more in the photo direction as opposed to text direction. The main reason that young adults leave sites once “older people” get on them is because they want to show their friends things that they did last night that they don’t want their parents or even their grandparents to see. I think that there will always be social classes and stereotypes when it comes to social media sites.

  24. I don’t think Facebook is just for old people. I just think more “older people” are beginning to use it to keep in touch with old friends and family members that don’t live in the are. However, when teenagers are beginning to see that their parents are starting to use Facebook, they feel as if it’s not as “cool” and get bored with it and are ready for the next type of social media. Younger people are constantly wanting the newest thing. Like when BBM came out to the iphone about a week ago, everybody started using it for a couple days but really how is it any different than any of the social medias that are already out there? Facebook is just old news to the younger generation because they care more about having the newest type of social media than adults do.

  25. I do not agree with this chart completely. I still use facebook as my main social media website and am still not really sure how the point of twitter even though I have one. I think it has to do more of how technologically savvy a person is rather than their age, although it may determine the number of friends that they have using the sites. I find some of the remarks comical because with snapchat at least I know a lot of adults that use the app frequently. All of the different types of social media serve a similar purpose and I do not really think it matters which you use it is more whatever you personally like better.

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