Social Media Experience

For the purpose of this assignment, I used Instagram (IG) because I know a lot of libraries have accounts on IG and also because my resident teens have said that IG is popular amongst them and their peers. I know that 14’s math teacher even uses it to post videos. This was something that I found interesting because in my last district, social media usage was encouraged by central office and school admin; however, in my current district, it is most definitely not encouraged. I asked if there were any expectations around creating and maintaining social media accounts and was strongly discouraged from doing so.

I chose this application because of all the options, this is the one I’m mostly likely to use. I am an old lady who favors Twitter for banter around sports, librarianship, and teaching; I do have an Instagram account but had not used it for work purposes, so it made sense to try and see if this was a potential resource for professional use. After looking at IG through a professional scope, I think I still prefer “teacher Twitter” for my personal use and I am still undecided on whether or not I would use IG for professional purposes.

Overall, I think that Instagram is a user-friendly app. There are a lot of public libraries that I checked out, a number of school libraries, and librarians. I think that using it as a professional resource would make more sense than using it to post actual content related to library activities in the school. I think that teens do like IG. I know that a lot of schools have unofficial groups that post information on what goes on at school; I also am under the impression that teens sometimes use it to watch TikTok videos when parents do not allow them using that app directly — it seems like a workaround in that capacity.

In terms of perception, mine really did not change of Instagram. I will note that when I talked to 16 about it, she mentioned that she does a lot of messaging through IG with friends/classmates. In this capacity, I think there is a greater use for teens because they can use it as an extension of communication tool and can maintain some privacy around texts that do not show up in the phone itself. Further, it allows them to send/share pages and information with peers which serves as an additional way to touch base/interact. From these perspectives, the app seems like a great use for teens but I am not convinced it’s one I would choose to publicize my school’s library.

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