Wow, Social Media is a lot like High School!!

Written on December 6, 2007 – 3:36 pm | by Shana Albert |

High School

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Social Media. Love, Love, Love, Obsessed, Love Social Media. I’ve been very serious about Social Media and the amount of time I’ve spent doing it daily for the past 6+ months. It didn’t take me long to realize that Social Media has a lot of similarities to High School.

Popular Crowds

Every High School has their popular crowds and Social Media is no exception. Getting into the Popular Crowd can be tough, but we all have heard of the Perks of once we get accepted into it.

Clubs

We all remember Drama Club, Ski Club, Chess Club, Math Club, Wrestling Club, blah, blah, blah. Social Media has Clubs too…. Digg, Reddit, Sphinn, StumbleUpon. Some clubs are more popular than others. We might like all of them, but we don’t have the time to participate in all of them. So, we pick our favorite Clubs and participate in those Clubs the most.

The Bad Boys

Oh boy, did my School have some Bad Boys!! I’m positive all High Schools do. These were the guys who were rebels. They would push the limits. I was always fascinated with the bad boys. Sure, they made me nervous, but there was something about them that made me want to get to know them better. Social Media has the Bad Boys as well. These are bloggers that write whatever is on their mind at the time. They are not out to hurt anybody, but you can feel their emotions in every single one of their controversial posts.

Rule Breakers and Goodie-Goodies

I wish I could say that when I was in High School I was popular, but I can’t…. I was a total Goodie-Goodie. Mostly out of fear of my mother, but whatever. I was a total Nerd!! The Rule Breakers were those kids who, well, broke the rules. They smoked in the bathroom, they were always in detention, and most often they were skipping classes. Well, in Social Media we have the Rule Breakers and Goodie-Goodies too. But, in Social Media we call them Black Hats and White Hats. Social Media wouldn’t be the same without them.

Parties

High School Parties…. the closest I was ever to one was seeing them in movies. I told you…. I was a total Nerd. But, I heard High School Parties rule!! Ok, I went to High School in the 80’s. Do they still say, “Rule”? In Social Media there are Conferences. There is a Major Party going on right now, PubCon, and I’m totally missing it. Can’t blame this one on my mother, but I am totally going to get to one of these Parties, Mom!!

Peer Pressure

I don’t think I have to explain to any of you that there is a ton of Peer Pressure that teens face in High School. We have all been there. I vividly remember the amount of pressure that I was faced while I attended High School and for that reason, among others, I don’t think I would ever want to go back to High School again. Social Media has there own Peer Pressure as well. The pressure surrounding the Social Media community is a bit different, but the pressure feels the same. The Emails, Instant Messages and Shouts to Vote-up, Thumbs-up, and Submit posts are insane.

It can be intense. I’ve reached my 200 friends limit on StumbleUpon and I started to clean house. You couldn’t imagine the emails I received asking why I am no longer a friend with whoever? Are you kidding me? I only got rid of people that hadn’t produced activity in a long time or that I no longer had anything in common with. UGH!! Peer friggin Pressure!!

Gossip

Ahhh, High School Gossip… The who’s dating who, who skipped school to meet their boyfriend, who cheated on who, who has been accepted to the 50 best colleges, or wasn’t accepted at all!?! Standard Gossip from all High Schools. Well, Social Media has their own gossip….. Facebook, baby!! Gotta love it!! In one day’s time on Facebook I can find out who body slammed who, who got dry humped, where someone is right now and what they are doing, and who drunk dialed who. I can get my fill of gossip and not even feel guilty for it. Well, maybe a little…. after all, I probably could be doing something much more productive. But, it’s called social networking for a reason, right?

Just as with High School we are all trying to find our spot that we fit into with Social Media. It’s a ton of fun, a bit stressful at times, the pressure can be intense, but I wouldn’t change it for the World.

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  1. 22 Responses to “Wow, Social Media is a lot like High School!!”

  2. By gamermk on Dec 6, 2007 | Reply

    You are so right. I remember before I knew about sphinn and all I did was comment on blogs. I realized that now all I do is comment on sphinn. It’s my new scene and it’s where I find what’s on the up and up.

    It’s like I just went back to high school :/

    What the hell was I think…?

    (great post though, entertaining read)

  3. By Alex on Dec 6, 2007 | Reply

    Hmm … did you forget the bullies?

    I think it is rather important part of high school 🙂 And I think the blogging world has plenty comparisons …

    Alex

  4. By Sam Freedoms Internet Markting Controversy Blog on Dec 6, 2007 | Reply

    While the whole article is a very good walk down memory lane comparison, you do realize there’s something missing, right? >:|

  5. By Social Media on Dec 6, 2007 | Reply

    Takes me back about, oh, 32 years. Where has the time gone?

  6. By Shana Albert on Dec 6, 2007 | Reply

    @gamermk – You’re right Sphinn is great!! Thank for reading and leaving a comment. 🙂

  7. By Shana Albert on Dec 7, 2007 | Reply

    @Alex – Oh yes, the bullies. How could I forget them?! You’re right, there is plenty I could have written. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving me a comment. 🙂

    @Sam Freedoms – Hmmmm…. I’m not sure I’m following you. What am I missing, Sam??

  8. By Hendry Lee on Dec 7, 2007 | Reply

    So true, your ability to tell story and brings analogy into life is what makes your post very interesting to read.

    In social media, I prefer to mingle with the good boys though. 🙂

  9. By John Sadler on Dec 7, 2007 | Reply

    Sorry to be boring but for me social networking is so much more important that which High School and what year you were in and who you once knew. I think SN is much more important but I agree that story telling and use of metaphor is the real secret of getting into people’s heads.

  10. By Matt Ellsworth on Dec 10, 2007 | Reply

    so true – so true… its not even funny.

  11. By Kristen on Dec 11, 2007 | Reply

    That is awesome and so very true! I never thought of it like that but it is a great analogy. I’ve done the same thing on Stumble Upon, getting rid of those I no longer want to have as friends. Why they only allow 200 is beyond me.
    Great post!

  12. By Guy Rosen on Dec 11, 2007 | Reply

    Shana, talk about a trip down memory lane! I do wonder what today’s kids would say about it, considering Facebook and all are such an integral part of their social… umm, life.

    One direction I took the liberty of extending your analogy to was to activism, political clubs, etc. How did we do it in school and what does it mean for social media? (Shameless plug) Answers on my recent blog post…

  13. By veronicaromm on Jan 17, 2008 | Reply

    Hi,

    I was just discussing this as I experienced my first Stumbleupon band of bullies. Shana got rid of some horrible blogger just today, go you. I think it is exactly like high school but worse since there is the anonymity. Those that had it rough in HS are probably the worst, or perhaps the bullies just continue to bully. SU is my favorite SN and to find the group “Elite Hater’s Mafia” was a bit disheartening. Vicious language and sentiments and outright haters. A microcosm of the world perhaps. Thanks for a great read. Veronica

  14. By James Duthie on Mar 24, 2008 | Reply

    Spot on analogy. And I have to say… breaking into the cool crowd is just as hard in social media.

  15. By PLANETwebfoot on Dec 16, 2009 | Reply

    Love the comparison between social networking and high school, you have some compelling points! Perhaps because the major social networking sites (especially Facebook) are so much like high school I prefer the niche social networking sites.

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