How do sixteen-year-olds view and use the media?

How do sixteen-year-olds view and use the media?

We wanted to know more about how teenagers view and use traditional and social media, so we asked sixteen-year-old Kara, here on a work experience placement. This is what she wrote.

Everyone receives their news from somewhere and for many this may include watching the news, reading magazines or using social media. For me, I receive my news from social media. I use social media every day and I am on most social media platforms including: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

My use of each platform differs, including who I follow, what I ‘like’ or what I post. For example, I use Facebook to stay in contact with my family overseas. I will post about events in my life, such as going on holiday or the day that I got my braces off rather than things that make me ‘laugh out loud’. The people I connect with on each platform are different too. On Facebook I am only ‘friends’ with members of my family or close friends, but on Instagram and Snapchat I am ‘friends’ with my friends, people in my school or even friends of friends as well as following entertainment accounts such as the Ladbible or Buzzfeed.

Most of the people I follow on social media (who are not my friends or family) are celebrities and accounts with funny things on them. I tend to not follow charities or brands on social media because I feel that I am often bombarded with information such as: special offers, new products or ‘donate now’ asks and it can be overwhelming. For example on Twitter, most tweets from businesses are for customer service and unless I am tweeting at a business, I would rather not have it on my timeline.

Part of my study in sixth form includes reading around the topic area of my chosen subjects. Therefore, most of the news I read is based around what I study: Biology, Psychology and English Literature. However, I am also a consumer of BBC news, Hertford Mercury (my local newspaper) and my interests such as travelling and photography. I most frequently use YouTube, Twitter and Flipboard to receive information. My preferred platform of receiving news is through an app called Flipboard because it allows me to follow topics that interest me, and it provides me with all the most recent articles/links to new discoveries or information.

The main way in which I take notice of charities and brands is through the use of adverts on social media or through celebrities’ posts. A video right before a YouTube video or an advert embedded in my timeline will grab my attention more than if I am following it. Subscriptions to magazines or emails are also very useful and I will take more time reading the information this way because when I am on social media it often feels like a rush to see everything. This way I find it less overwhelming and am more likely to take notice of what is being advertised. The most common charities that I see on my timeline are related to mental health or to helplines, I believe that this is directed at me due to my age but also interest in Psychology.

For me, social media is the most convenient, cheapest and fastest way of receiving information and this is why I chose to receive news through this rather than watching TV or buying a newspaper.

About Kara: I am sixteen and study Biology, English Literature and Psychology at sixth-form college. I am here at Amazon PR to have a few days of paid work experience in order to get a feel for what it is like in a working environment, and to allow me to explore my options for the future.