it for school activities, news, or even just for fun, it's no doubt that millions of adolescents are hooked. This isn't necessarily a negative phenomenon, especially when it may help them es- cape from reality for the time being. "I think it's fun to be able to meet and interact with new people and have a space to geek out about the things you enjoy with other people who enjoy it", said Laura, a 19 year-old from Seattle, "It's a safe place to have fun and ex- press your interests without feeling judged." Annie (name changed), 16, a fellow Hononegah student, also explained," There are so many incredible elements of Twitter, primarily the fact that it's a global community. It allows users to form friendships with or gain the per- spectives of individuals that they would never meet or interact with in real life." Twitter gives thousands of teenagers an outlet to convey them- selves in a way that no other social me- dia can. It brings people together and creates a secure and welcoming envi- ronment for those who need one. Not only does Twitter provide a safe haven, but it's a beneficial platform for teens to become educated and gain knowledge on topics that they wouldn't normally see or even care about, given that a lot of young people don't watch the televised news. Allie, a student at Savannah College of Art and Design, says, "I feel like I know a lot more about what's going on with the world, as well as more about the peo- ple in my age group and how the world has changed." An abundance of teens not only in America, but also around the world, may live in environments where they aren't allowed to speak their minds freely on certain issues happening in our society. Twitter and other platforms give them the chance to use their voice and establish individ- ualism. It's important for adolescents nowadays to understand that it's okay to not follow what others are doing, but to embrace who they are and what they believe in. Although Twitter can be a positive space, social media does have it's dark side. Laura stated,"I spent a lot of time on it, probably more than I reasonably should have. It's addicting, although you could say the same for any social media platform." This isn't exactly as dark as, say, cyber- bullying or harassment, but distrac- tions such as Twitter or any other plat- form can cause ri t s in a teens life and a ff ect aspects such as school or jobs. Not only can social media cause teens to lose track of important things, but as Annie puts it, "It's really easy to get too
caught up in the 'drama' on social me- dia, and it's important to know what matters and what doesn't in life. Social media should be a fun bonus to life, not the point of life which it has be- come for a lot of teens." Some kids get wholly consumed with what is happen- ing on their phone rather than what is happening in real life, and it can be- come a very dangerous problem, very quickly. Of course everyone's experience is dif- ferent, someone can't simply know whether or not they are going to have a positive or negative experience. "In my personal experience it's done more harm than good, I ended up falling in with the wrong group of people," Laura commented, "With Twitter, if a group decides they don't like you, you will be outcast and pushed o ff of your plat- form." Twitter isn't just a "good or bad" place, it has also helped teens explore their own interests and get to know themselves better the more they have used it, or in Annie's own words, "It's definitely helped me. Before being on twitter, I was more shy about my inter- ests since I didn't know many people in Rockton that shared them. Knowing that other people think about and en- joy the same things that I do has made my life more fun."
Current senior Alison Murdoch poses the girl's basketball 2018 Regional Champions award.
ly trying to make this season as posi- tive as possible. Due to the social dis- tancing order that was placed on Hon- onegah athletes, summer preparations for basketball were disrupted and de- layed fall contact. As the season will be shorter than usual, this year the Hon- onegah basketball team will be mainly playing conference teams only. Mr. Brunke is also making sure that all bas- ketball players are safe and protected by enforcing a mask rule to run drills and prohibiting scrimmaging to keep distance. Just like all previous years, Mr. Brunke's main goal for the season is for all players to enjoy their time on the court and give it their all. The pandem- ic definitely places restrictions on the comp e t i t i v e co n t a c t s p o r t o f basketball, but it is something the t e am i s d e a l i n g w i t h - - - a n d conquering---as a whole. More so than the rest of the team, the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on four-year varsity player, Alison Mur- doch. When asked what she is most ex- cited about in the 2020 season, Mur- doch states "being able to play" and "a season in general". This talented young woman was even recruited for college basketball and made her decision to attend University of Wisconsin-Stout in the fall of 2021. Coach Brunke had a couple of things he would like to thank Murdoch, the solo senior this year, for: her contributions to the team, the lead- ership she exhibited, being a tremen- dous asset to the Hononegah basket- ball team as a four-year varsity player, and most importantly, the growth that she displayed on and o ff the court. As I am someone who has gotten to know Murdoch over the course of these last couple of months, I would have to say
that tenacity is one of Murdoch's best qualities-- and not only in basketball-- but also in thriving in multiple AP classes, recovering from an injury over the summer, and just being one of the funniest and best people I know. The best thing about Alison is that she is not only a terrific player on the court, but she is also a spectacular person o ff the court, and those aren't qualities you find in everyone. At the end of the day, as we all know, COVID isn't anything to shoot baskets with, but with a positive attitude and determination it can be easier to bear. We do not know what the 2020 girls basketball season looks like, but I'll cross my fingers that it is a memorable one ∎
Since launching in 2006, Twitter has revolutionized how people talk and communicate with each other, making online connections easier than ever. Now in 2020, it's become one of the largest ways teenage fans communi- cate worldwide. Teens are a ff ected and influenced by many di ff erent aspects of their lives. Parents, friends, culture, and society all can have an everlasting imprint on who someone is as a person. Social media has expanded, if not completely changed, the informa- tion and knowledge that today's teenagers receive. Whether this is more positive or negative remains to be seen, but what should be known is that social media platforms have truly changed the way many young adults go about their day to day lives and how they perceive what is happening in the world around them ∎
Twitter and the Teenage Brain
By Hudsyn Garcia
Since launching in 2006, Twitter has ac- cumulated 330 million users, 32% of which are teenagers 13-17 years old-- possibly one of the largest stan demo- graphics ever. During these develop- mental years, exposure to such a wide- spread and user-heavy platform can have lasting e ff ects on minds that are easily influenced. I sat down with teens across the country to see what exactly goes on beyond the screen. As many parents, and fellow young people alike, know, social media has become a major part of many teenagers' daily lives. Whether they use
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