The Power of Like – Generation Like

In the video Generation Like  we are introduced to and taught about the power that social media has on teens. These teens we learn about in the video all use different social media tools to receive likes and receive instant gratification from those likes. When these teens post a new profile picture or a new video blog regarding the latest hair care product the likes they gain become part of their identity. When you look at a personal profile on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter what you are viewing is the product of the multiple hours these teens put in to grab the attention of others.

We meet Ceili a young girl with an obsession for The Hunger Games, movies and books. She is the member of an online “forum” for fans of the movies and books. She competes for virtual prizes by using her Twitter account to tweet anything having to do with the story. She takes time and energy to do this and is now the top in the world, the worlds biggest fan! But how? Why? The answer is basically she knows what she is doing! These teens know what people are looking for, they know what other kids their age want to see and what they will follow. Tyler Oakley started his vlogging profile as a way to stay in contact with his friends who had gone to other colleges. As his video blogs continued he talks about what he likes, pop culture, and that gains him more followers and it never stops. He works with other vloggers to promote each other and to help one another gain these likes. These teens and many others use social media outlets to gain the attention and validation that all children look for.

On the other end of the spectrum brand names look at these teens profiles and use them to promote their brand. Marketing specialists aim to promote their brand to these children because they know if the teens like it they will turn around and sell that product on their social media pages. So many of these teens use creativity to write their posts, make their videos, and filter their photos. The energy and thought that they put into a product they love is above and beyond. With this knowledge of how social media affects these teens how do we incorporate, responsibly, that into the classroom? How do we use a tool that these children love to promote learning?

As I mentioned the use of the social media allows these children to use their creativity. Creativity is a large component of learning. Each child has their own creative ways and when they are allowed to express that creativity learning comes easier. In school we don’t always learn the content that we want to. As teachers we need to be able to take that lack of love for a subject and help the child do a full 180. With the knowledge of social media and other technology we have new ways to teach these children with the use of tools they are masters in. The hardest aspect, I currently can see, is that we need to incorporate technology in a way that gives these students the instant gratification they strive for but we give that to them for comprehending the content and being creative.

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