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Social Media Influences Arrowhead

Arrowhead High School senior Brianna Meyer contributed the following article to the Lake Country Publications to be published in the Living Lake Country Sunday March 10th edition:

Social Media Influences Arrowhead

Facebook has started its slide down the popularity ladder. Similar to how MySpace went down in the mid-2000s, Facebook has experienced a falling out with the higher school students of America and across the world—Arrowhead included.

“Facebook is out right now,” says Arrowhead senior Rachel Shanabarger.

 Although the popularity of Facebook is dropping, Arrowhead students are finding other website to occupy their time. As Shanabarger says, the websites at their peak right now are “Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.”

Twitter, for those that don’t know, combines the status function of Facebook with the new world of hashtags, or articulated emotions. Using 140 characters or less, Twitter users must convey their message and whichever emotion they are experiencing. Since its creation in 2006, it has become one of the top ten most visited websites in the world.

“I love Twitter because it allows me to keep up with not only celebrities, but kids that I see at school every day,” says Arrowhead senior Sydney Kozlik. “Everything I need to know is on one website.”

Arrowhead has jumped into Twitterverse with force within the 2012-13 school year. The school has a Twitter page (@ArrowheadSchools), multiple students have pages, and clubs and sports like Lake Country Swim Team (@LCSTPhoenix), Arrowhead Robotics (@Cyberhawks706), and Arrowhead Hockey (@ArrowheadHockey).

Immediately after its inception in 2010, Instagram also gained immense popularity. Originally made for Apple products, but now also supporting Android phones, Instagram allows users to take pictures and then edit them using the filters and frames built into the application.

“I use Instagram to edit the pictures I take during motor cross,” says Arrowhead senior Sarah Piper. “But I use it to share pictures of friends, too.”

The Instagram trend took a little longer to latch on to Arrowhead, which spread around mid 2011. In fact, the Arrowhead section of DECA has their own account to update the school on their events and promotions (arrowhead_deca).

“Arrowhead DECA uses Instagram to share pictures, quotes, and information for Arrowhead DECA members and also DECA organizations worldwide,” says DECA supervisor and marketing teacher Steve Melzer. “If used with correct parameters, it can be an excellent application and learning tool for DECA.”

Tumblr, the oldest of the Arrowhead invaders, launched in 2007. Users can create their own blog and make it essentially anything they want—text, pictures, videos, and music can all be posted. “The Dash,” or home screen, shows all of the posts of the users’ followed blogs as well as the controls to post and edit their own blogs. The user can also customize their blog and generate their own domain name—the defining feature of any blog. 
Now with apps for iPhone and other smart phones, Tumblr can be accessed anywhere, anytime. The most creative and artistic of the social media websites, students at Arrowhead have been taking advantage of the freedom to make their own blog reflect their personalities.

“Tumblr has become something of an obsession this past year,” says Arrowhead senior Maddie Klink. “It’s the most artistic social media site, and I think that draws in a lot of people.”

Also immensely popular within the last year are Wanelo and Pintrest. These two similar websites have been placed in constant battle with each other even though their purposes are slightly different.

Pintrest is the older of the two sites and focuses more on the artistic side of photography and shopping. Users can maintain their own pinboards by following other users and repining or liking their pins, and they can explore the other sections of the site, like Architecture, Fashion, or Cars.

Wanelo, in contrast, allows users to follow stores and websites and post things into wish lists that are actually for sale. Because the site gets its inventory directly from stores, the pictures are less artistic and more industrial, but the idea of Wanelo is similar to Pintrest.

Both sites have mobile apps and connect to online stores like Etsy. Pintrest satisfies a wider range of interests, but Wanelo allows for real purchases. Individual students at Arrowhead each have their own favorite based on which qualities they like more.

However, as popular as these new sites might be, there are some students who are resisting the urge to join the masses. Senior Anastasia Pjevach deleted her Twitter account earlier this year in an attempt to stop the distraction it caused.

“I finally deleted it,” Pjevach says. “It was just too distracting. It was always there to draw me away from things, and I just had to take the plunge and get rid of it.”

The internet is always evolving, changing, and expanding, and the new trends in browsing satisfy an even broader span of interests and uses. Arrowhead has tried and utilized the new sites, but in the end, the favorite site of Arrowhead is up to the individual. Personal preference rules in the web trends of 2013.