By Joseph Skoog ’13
For many students around campus, keeping up with the latest Internet trends is a fulltime activity.
From chatting with strangers on Omegle, to cursing the stranger you are playing on 8 Ball Pool and now to browsing the newest post on Reddit, Internet fads come and go.
The popularity of each trend is influenced by many things. However, this need to stay up to date on the latest ideas can make what you are playing more important than if you are actually having fun playing it.
To Michael Myers ’13, the ebb and flow of flash-in-the-pan games around Brophy becomes a sort of popularity contest.
“Kids download games and play them just to seem cool. I don’t really get the appeal,” Myers said.
Instead of using these games for the fun purposes they were intended for, they are turning into status symbols.
Things like Instagram, a popular iPhone app that is to pictures what Twitter is to status updates, was first used by a few trendsetters and then became more widely used, according to Myers.
While the world is changing, and digital activities are becoming a central part of the teenage experience, using them for the simple aim of looking cool or trendy just reifies the same problems with all fads.
To put it simply, it creates a dichotomy between the “Haves” and the “Have nots.”
Taking the example of Instagram, an application until recently only available on the iPhone, makes those who do not have iPhones feel less cool or forward thinking.
Because of the expensive nature of iPhones, many students at Brophy cannot afford them. However, those who do should not laud the ability to use Instagram as something exclusive.
Instead, we should use digital applications as a way of enjoyment, not for trying to make others think you are cool.
Accepting the Internet as it is, and simply using it rather than materializing it can help curb the problems that can occur when certain people use devices and activities as status symbols.