By Bradley Wilson, PhD
Midwestern State University
2014 | Austin
AND SOCIAL MEDIA
By Bradley Wilson
Interscholastic League Press Conference
Austin • April 2014
Putting a new face on everything
The most visited site on earth
As Facebook grows, the social media site has changed work, play, interaction
Story continued on next page
Study shows social media has become the
most popular activity on the Internet
= 150 million hours
NIELSON / SOURCE
That same year, the
population in the
United States was
around 310 million
In 2010, Facebook had
around 500 million
The population in India was
CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND
FACEBOOK / SOURCES
Come home, log onto the computer and browse Facebook: it’s a familiar
after-school routine for sophomore Shivani Bajpai.
“Everybody has a Facebook,” Bajpai said.“I think I was going to India the
year I got one and that way pictures could be shared.”
Bajpai is just one of many Millennials who is connected to the world’s
largest social network. Last year, Experian Hitwise reported that Facebook
outstripped Google as the most visited site of the year.
Mass media teacher Nicole Wilson attributed Facebook’s overtaking of
Google to the personal aspect of the social network.
“Who can you trust more than your friends?”Wilson said.“When you type
in ‘vacation hotels,’ into Google, you can get 200,000 hits.You don’t know
where they’re coming from; you don’t know if they’re credible. But you can
put a Facebook status up that says,‘Does anybody have a good hotel sug-
gestion for...’ any location, and any of your friends…can respond to that.”
Facebook cited that its users spend over 700 billion minutes per month
on the site. Bajpai said she uses Facebook three hours a day.
“Facebook is addicting now; I kind of like everything about it,” she said.“I
like the fact that you can keep in touch with people. Like you can text them,
and you can call them, but Facebook is just a new form of communication.”
Wilson also acknowledged the growth of other social media sites.
“Social media is the way of the future,” she said. “It’s here; it’s not go-
Facebook, inﬂating heads?Last year researcher Soraya
Mehdizadeh of York University
conducted a study of 100 col-
lege students, and found that
students with lower self-esteem
or higher levels of narcissism
were more likely to spend more
than an hour a day on Facebook.
She clariﬁed that her studies did
not necessarily mean Facebook
made its users narcissistic.
Did you know?
SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN / SOURCE
Although Facebook’s addictive nature does not bother Bajpai nor Wilson,
two psychologists, Jean M.Twenge, PhD and W. Keith Campbell, PhD, wrote
an inﬂuential book in 2009 titled The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the
Age of Entitlement. They claim social networking sites allow people to
escape real friendships and simply collect “Facebook friends” or “Twitter
followers,” making them more self-centered.
In spite of such concerns, psychology teacher Peter O’Hara said Face-
book is simply an outlet for emotions no different from e-mail or tele-
phone. According to him, some people will always try to compensate for
low self-esteem by acting conﬁdent and extroverted, whether on Facebook,
on e-mail or on the phone. However, he said, the impersonal, accessible
Internet is where narcissists may feel the most comfortable engaging in
“You can sit in the comfort of your bedroom and put something out on
Facebook that you would never do if all of your friends were watching you,”
He said the same conversations or experiences are sometimes more dif-
ﬁcult but also more enjoyable in real life than online.
In agreement, Bajpai said she is cautious of letting Facebook take over
her social life because her friends’ proﬁle pages do not match up to her
friends in person.
“If you take Facebook (too) seriously, then you have an issue to begin
with,” Bajpai said.“Some people sit there on their laptop and just take
pictures of themselves for no reason. I think that’s a little stupid, but not
many people are like that.”
Up, up and away
2010 has seen both the rise and fall
of some social media sites
Top 10 most visited websites in 2010
= Change in ranking from 2009
as the most
It accounted for
of all visits
plans to sell
EXPERIAN HITWISE AND MASHABLE / SOURCES
4. Legend, William R. Boone High School (Orlando, Fla.)
5. Silver Chips
Montgomery Blair High
7. Facebook is a social
networking Web site
that is privately owned.
Since September 2006,
anyone over the age of 13
with a valid e-mail
address can become a
8. SAN DIEGO – College students who use Facebook spend
less time studying and have lower grade point averages than
students who have not signed up for the social networking
website, according to a pilot study.
9. Limited to 140
characters per post.
Sort of like a real-
time service for
Accessible online, in e-
mail, on mobile phones
and through other
10. Pinterest is a pinboard-style
photo-sharing website that
allows users to create and
manage theme-based image
collections such as events,
interests, and hobbies.
Users can browse other
pinboards for images, "re-pin"
images to their own
pinboards, or "like" photos.
11. SmugMug is a selling your
photographs online. It’s
turnkey solution. You put
photos online and user can
81 employees. Hundreds of
thousands of ecstatic
photos and counting.
12. Do galleries
14. Have fun
15. Flickr is an image-
hosting and video-
hosting site created in
2004 and acquired by
Yahoo! in 2005.
Photographers use it to share
photographs in their communities and
to get comments.
and sharing videos.
Many schools block
YouTube, founded in
2005. YouTube is now a
subsidiary of Google.
Vimeo, founded in 2004,
is a little more
‘sheltered’ and has more
than 3 million users.
17. Kids between the ages of 12 and 17 text a median of 60 times a
day — up from 50 in 2009. Girls take the lead as most frequent
SOURCE: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project surveys, March 2012
18. Texting is the dominant daily
mode of communication
between teens and all those with
whom they communicate.
19. 2006 2010
How frequently does the student staff
update content for its newspaper website?
SOURCE: College Media Advisers survey, spring 2010
20. GET ONLINE
* You can make money!
21. By Bradley Wilson
Interscholastic League Press Conference
Austin • April 2014