Being in high school, I always find it really interesting to find the latest social networks and apps that my peers are using. With the introduction of peer pressure, the presence of the network effect among teenagers seems to be noticeably exaggerated. It is easy to spot trends in how students use popular social networks and games. Some trends last longer than others, and some have a greater impact than others.
I’ve found this all to be quite interesting, and thought you might as well. I am currently a sophomore in high school (10th grade) and the furthest back I can remember these trends being present is 5th grade, in 2007/08.
5th Grade – 07/08
There were very few trends that I remember during this year. One major one, however, is YouTube. Everyone in my class had a YouTube account. Most people didn’t regularly upload videos, but people would subscribe to and comment on the videos of others.
One cool tidbit that I remember: There was exactly one kid at my school who had an iPhone. Everyone thought it was pretty cool, but hardly anyone had cell phones. I was carrying around my Palm Z22 like a total nerd.
6th Grade – 08/09
This was an interesting year. Cell phones were just becoming commonplace among students at my school, and I was one of about three kids in the school with an iPhone. (3G) Towards the end of the year, the iPod Touch became a fairly popular device, but nothing like it is today.
Google Talk became very popular during this time. It was definitely the most popular website, but the fact that the school set everyone up with Gmail accounts probably helped.
Email and chain mail was also somewhat popular. I remember having conversations with other students over email, but having my inbox littered with chain mail every day.
7th Grade – 09/10
Facebook finally became very popular during this time. Almost everyone had a Facebook account, and it had completely replaced Google Chat.
At the same time, the iPhone was becoming quite popular as well.
8th Grade – 10/11
Everybody has an iPhone. Seriously. For the most part, if you don’t have an iPhone you have an iPod Touch.
Also, if you were to ask me to find someone who doesn’t have a Facebook profile, I would have an extremely hard time. Everyone’s on Facebook, and everyone has an iOS Device.
9th Grade – 11/12
I remember many trends from this year. First, iOS is still insanely popular. iPod Touches seem to be less popular compared to the iPhone, and compared to their popularity in previous years. Everybody has a Facebook account, and very few people have a Twitter account.
During the winter of 2010 the iOS game Temple Run became extremely popular. It became popular extremely fast, which I think is rather interesting because it has very little social aspect compared to a game such as FarmVille. It’s popularity was rather short lived, for some reason.
10th Grade – 12/13
There have been quite a few interesting trends this year:
First, people seem to be moving away from Facebook and to Twitter and Instagram. I haven’t noticed large amounts of people deleting their Facebook profiles, but I have noticed many using Facebook less and less.
As for Instagram, it’s rare that a day will go buy when I don’t get a notification that one of my Facebook friends has joined Instagram.
Conclusion These trends have always interested me as they affect how I use technology to communicate with my friends and other students at my school. I doubt these trends will slow down anytime soon. It will be interesting to see what the future holds.