Gary Manier – A&E/Features Editor
Social media is part of everyday life for many Grand Rapids Community College students. Most, if not all students have cell phones, and many of them are smartphones with internet access. Social media is nearly impossible to avoid due to ever changing advancements in technology within the digital frontier.
According to a 2014 mobile technology fact sheet from Pew Research Center, 90 percent of American adults own a cellphone and 60 percent of those phones are smartphones. Seven percent of smartphone owners depend on their phones for internet access and are “smartphone dependent.”
The Collegiate surveyed a diverse group of students on campus about their cell phone social media use. Here are the results:
Out of the 18 students interviewed, all had cell phones and only one student claimed to have no use for social media.
“I’ve never really seen an interest in it (social media) I can call my family members from Mexico, so I don’t really need to Facebook,” said Roberto Gonzalez, 21, from Texas. “It seems problematic, I’m the kind of person that just doesn’t want any problems.”
Nearly all of the students use text messaging as their main form of communication, citing simplicity and convenience. Even though it is easy to misread the tone of a text message, students prefer this method to calling friends and family.
“Texting is simple, easy and fast, even with my grandparents, which is weird but they’re up to date,” said James Reid, 19.
One student claimed that his main form of communication is Snapchat, even though he’d rather text or call his family.
“My grandparents like letters sometimes,” said Gio Toffolo, 19. “I guess that I kind of like how we can communicate with whoever we want and make whatever we want and do whatever we want on social media. I guess I dislike it because at the same time it makes people feel like normal life might be mundane.”
Students interviewed claim to spend between one and three hours on the internet everyday. The global average was one hour and 40 minutes a day in 2015.
Two of the students talked about using social media to build community and a support system for their hobbies and goals.
“I use social media for socializing, sharing photos and connecting,” said Kristin Vandenhoek, 22. “I’m starting to write a novel so I use it to connect with other writers.”
Some students entertained the idea of a day without technology, saying that it could be very beneficial to their lives, even refreshing.
“I use Facebook, Tumblr and DeviantArt. DeviantArt is an online community where people share their art,” said Kelsey Ladner, 19. “A day without technology would be good, so I can catch up on my reading.”
Cesar Ayala, Priya Kaur and Jasiel Ochoa-Mendoza contributed to this report.