Page 1

hilights Volume 65 ß Issue 1

INDEX special opinion entertainment

2 4 6

for students, by students

William R. Boone High School ß 1000 E. Kaley St. ß Orlando, FL 32806 Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017 ß

FOMO jeopardizes mental Excessive use of networking sites creates lasting impacts By KYLA MCCRARY Whether checking sites is compulsive or a bad habit, social media carries the potential to become addictive in one’s life. With just the click of a button, people have access to sites that allow them to create a social universe to connect and socialize with others globally. “The addictive qualities in social media are huge. Some of them are trying to get more likes than the next person or simply just trying to laugh. There are many accounts that are funny and can make you laugh,” sophomore Chase Comprosky said. Dopamine, a chemical the brain releases when pleasured, contributes to the addictiveness of social media. The human brain possesses a reward system that activates when one feels a rush. This rush triggers when one receives likes or comments on a post. One will continue to act in ways to achieve that rush causing the brain to build a tolerance. “People become obsessed with the rush and will keep trying to obtain it,” AP Psychology teacher Kelly Mahler said. “The truth is people are never going to obtain that first time high again.” Social media apps use notifications to appeal to users. Red numbers and notification banners appear at the top of the icon to draw users into the app. These numbers represent the amount of likes, friend requests or inapp messages awaiting the user. Nancy Colier, a psychotherapist, found most people check their phones 150 times a day and young adults send about 110 texts a day. These notifications


cause the need for one to check their phone. “When I first got Instagram I tried to go on it so much that I could not put it down. It was interesting seeing what others were doing and showing others what I was doing,” freshman Jackson Tyndall said. Social media represents a time filler rather than a way to communicate with others. Checking accounts between classes or waiting in lines has become a common habit. The World Unplugged project, studied at the University of Maryland, found students in the countries studied showed signs of distress when they tried to go 24 hours without using their digital device. “[Social media] provides instant gratification, somebody can like or leave a comment very fast. Humans don’t like to wait so the quickness helps. It triggers that same [reward system] in the brain and people chase that fulfillment,” Mahler said. Those addicted to social media spend more time on their accounts than having in-person conversations. Fear of missing out, or FOMO, leads to the excessive use of social media. Algorithmically filtered feeds lead to increasingly addictive sites by pulling users further into the app. “[Social media] leads you to a bunch of different posts that pull you deeper and keeps you looking. When I click on one post I can look through the entire account and then click on another linked account and that just keeps going,” Tyndall said. Colier suggests three things to lower dependency, recognize how much digital time is needed, make little changes to device time and pay attention to what is important to you. The American Academy of Pediatricians suggest teens spend no more than one to two hours a day on screen time.

How many hours do you spend on social media per day? Less than 1 2-4

19% 20%

5 or more


How many social media accounts do you use? None 1%







Favorite social media? Snapchat



50% 27% Instagram Facebook 7% 304 students polled on Feb. 9

ßtakethequiz How addicted are you to social media? 1. How many social media accounts do you have? a. None b. 1-3 c. 4 or more 2. How many hours do you spend on social media every day?

a. 0- 1

b. 2-3

c. 4 +

3. How often do you share personal news via social media? a. Never

b. Maybe once or twice if it was really important c. Anytime something happens you post it

4. Do you ever feel like you are missing out when you are not on social media?

6. How would you feel when you realized you left your phone at home for the day?

a. Never b. Sometimes (when you know something major is happening) c. All the time, social media is how you stay up to date

5. When you are with a friend and you get a notification on your phone, what do you do?

a. Ignore it b. Check if it is from a parent, and ignore if it is not c. Check it and reply right then

a. You would not even notice b. Okay, you’d prefer to have it with you, but can manage without c. You stop whatever you are doing to go back and get it

7. Do you accept follow requests from strangers? a. Never, social media is for direct friends and family

b. Sometimes, only if you share mutual followers c. Always (the more followers the better)

[ QUIZ ANSWERS, page 6



Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Many times students feel that they have to act or portray themselves like someone else. Rebecca Poffenberger, SAFE counselor

Social media triggers unhealthy Users’ self-esteem tied to profile comparisons By JESSIE JALCA As social media evolves and increases in popularity, the uses exponentiate, giving users opportunities to connect with others online. While this may seem beneficial, social media magnifies negative impacts of the social comparison theory, creating self-esteem problems among students. The social comparison theory defines the phenomenon of human instinct to compare one’s own progress or success to others. According to Karen North, Ph.D., a clinical professor of communication and the director of the digital social media program at the University of Southern California, this issue with social comparison has intensified with new technology. In a normal setting, sans social media, social comparison offers a healthy way to measure life progress compared to others. Social comparison can push people to better themselves and pursue higher goals. However, social media often presents facades and perfectly crafted images that fail to acknowledge their imperfections, leading to users developing a lower self-esteem. “Many times students feel that they have to act or portray themselves like everyone else,” SAFE counselor Rebecca Poffenberger said. “If you get involved with the wrong people on social media under false pretenses, it can be potentially dangerous for your self esteem and in some cases your well being.” In 2014, the Schools and Students Health

Education Unit, a UK specialist provider of survey data for schools and colleges, reported that social media likely contributes to the two in three 14- to 15-year-old girls and one in two 14- to 15-year-old boys without high self-esteem. To combat these problems, Netsanity, a mobile parental control service, advises students to be mindful of what they post. Instead of focusing on how many “likes” one can obtain, keep in mind that what may seem harmless to one person may seem harmful to another. Furthermore, Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting children with mental health and learning disabilities, urges students to focus less on social media and more on other activities they might enjoy. Diverting attention to sports or clubs not only takes students’ minds off their social media accounts, but also gives them another outlet to interact with others in a more “real” medium. “I think [social media’s effects] can go either way. Either it can make you feel really good about yourself or it could make you feel not as good about yourself, like you aren’t as good as someone else or you don’t live up to as good of standards as other people do,” junior Catherine Demer said. Healthy Place, an online source for information on mental health disorders and treatments, reminds users not only to avoid the negatives on social media, but to use social media in moderation. Too much social media, whether it helps or hurts self-esteem, can interfere with users’ quality of life and prevent them from “getting into the real world.”


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Social media timeline See the evolution of new applications and pivotal moments from the past three decades

1980’s 1983. AOL, a New York based multinational mass media network opens, which controls The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget.

APRIL 15, 1999. Brad Fitzpatrick launches blogging social media app, LiveJournal.

NOV. 2001. After its launch, Wikipedia provides users with an online encyclopedia, which allows readers to edit articles.



FEB. 14, 2005. YouTube allows video sharing.

MARCH 2 interactive thoughts a The app no and share

2005 AUG. 1, 2003. MySpace launches, allowing people to stay connected to friends and family using personal blogs, profiles and photo sharing.

FEB. 4, 2004. Facebook, one of the quickest social media sites, launches, allowing users to connect with friends and family.

JUNE 9, 2007. model of the iPho touch gestures, H browser, threaded

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

hilights specialfeature




Come out Feb. 23-Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. or Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. for All Shook Up. See cast and crew for tickets, $10 for entry and $20 for VIP, or buy entry tickets at the door.

This election was very unique because people were choosing one candidate because they didn’t like or despised the other one. So when they heard bad news about one of them, they didn’t worry about whether it was accurate or not. - Hajra Saeed, senior

Fake news epidemic changes the digital, political landscape



Online platforms aim to stop the spread of fallacious articles on their websites By TALBOT ELKINS With the growing ideological divide in America and general distrust of the mainstream media, this past election season gave way for illegitimate news outlets to gain traction, resonating with enough people to make an impact on the electorate. “I think social media definitely influenced the 2016 election. The media, whether conservative or liberal, is very biased, and social media let the candidates voice their opinions without the media twisting them,” junior Madeline Renda said. Articles from Breitbart, Infowars and the National Enquirer spread throughout various social media platforms in 2016, like Facebook’s “Trending” feature. News stories, regardless of their legitimacy, appeared at the top of Facebook users’ screens based on traffic. “For most young people, social media was their main source for news. People tend to be biased on social media, so certain aspects about the candidates might have been exaggerated,” senior Ian Jones said. A number of fake scandals arose during the election season. One of the most notorious, Pizzagate, consists of a string of assertions tying Hillary Clinton and other democratic insiders to a satanic pedophile ring run in Comet Pizza in Washington, D.C. The conspiracy originated on Reddit via the 362 thousand-member subreddit r/The_Donald, gaining traction with Trump


r the following before g an online source to be thy:

te: Does the page and/ ts sources have a date ached? Is it current ough to be reliable? urce: Are the claims or a quoted, hyperlinked backed up with bstantial evidence? thor: Is there a name ached to the page? Is t name reputable?

ganization: Is a utable organization hind it? Could they have erior motives? Who ns the website?

tivation: What is purpose of the page rall? How does the ntent benefit those olved? Are there biases play?

21, 2006. Twitter, a message e site, launches. Users can share and opinions through “tweets.” ow allows users to live stream trending news.

Steve Jobs unveils the first one which includes multiHTML email, Safari web d texting and YouTube.

supporters and conspiracy theorists. While rightwing news outlets Breitbart and Infowars covered it extensively, its popularity and influence went widely unnoticed until police arrested a man at Comet Pizza. Armed with an assault rifle and wearing an Infowars t-shirt, he attempted to search the premises for evidence of child sextrafficking. Long after Snopes and the The New York Times wrote articles on the subject, a YouGov study found that nearly half of republicans give “at least some credence” to Pizzagate. Accusations of social media’s involvement in the spread of fake news prompted sites like Facebook and Google to launch programs that filter the information relayed to their respective users. Facebook created a new system that ensures their “Trending” section includes stories citing reputable sources. In a recent blog post, Google reported 80 million instances of taking down links to false articles. In total, the company boasted 1.7 billion ad takedowns in 2016 for linking to sources violating their terms of service. “I think that the advent of fake news is just another opportunity to encourage people to research their beliefs, to not just take information at face value or from one single source . . . I think that is what we try to encourage in students, to become critical evaluators of information,” English teacher Jill Mollenhauer said. In response to the fallacious reporting epidemic, outlets like NYT, Snopes and The Washington Post consistently expose fake news, using this crisis as an opportunity to promote fact-checking new information.

JUNE 26, 2015. After marriage legalization in the U.S., #LoveWins obtained 6.2 million tweets in six hours.

2010 OCT. 6, 2010. Instagram provides users with a pictures and video sharing platform. Today, it includes live streaming, stories and business profiles.

JAN. 17, 2017. Popular video sharing app, Vine, shuts down and rebrands as “Vine Camera,” where one can still take videos, but can no longer post.

2015 SEPT. 2011. Snapchat allows people to exchange short length pictures to other people, and now provides stories and “Discover,” a news sharing feature.

AUG. 28, 2015. After its opening 11 years ago, Facebook hits one billion users.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Social media disrupts real-life relationships because people show their lives to the world but do not ever get out and enjoy life. Alexis Cosgrave, freshman

From the left:


Posts destroy reputations, futures Using social media destroys real-life friendships and alters political viewpoints in young adults.



percent of people have heard false news via social media


percent of teens spend 54 minutes a day on social media

29 percent of teens posted mean or embarrassing photos and rumors about someone


percent of kids think their parents have no idea what they are doing online

By CASSADY QUINTANA “Alternative facts,” a term coined and mocked in the media, increasingly floods news sources with alarm. People feed off fake news and drama shared on social media, versus relying on the endearment of face-to-face interactions and the ever-faltering reliable news sources. Social media, a noxious platform blooming from the rise in technology, makes distinguishing between factual news and fake news a constant challenge. Fake stories abound on social media. With instant access to news via the web, fake stories circulate through factual ones, making detecting the true ones difficult. Not only dangerous through distorting public understanding, fake news frequently implicates online harassment from one source to the next. Fourteen percent of Americans called social media their “most important” source of election news. Stories about both presidential candidates, even though credible sources proved untrue, poured through social media. Hyperbolic and inflammatory headlines filled the media with false information. The the U.S. election occupied major headlines, including the evidently genuine story that Pope Francis endorsed Donald Trump. It became popular among all social media platforms. According to data from Buzzfeed published in November, the story boasted nearly two million Facebook interactions in three months leading up to the election. After being fact-checked, it quickly became apparent that the story consisted of almost entirely fabricated material. Buzzfeed investigated the case and traced some of the fake publishers to Veles, a town in Macedonia, where it discovered that the story came from Ending the Fed, a fake news website. Ending the Fed has taken down its version of the article, but continues to publish fake news stories. Posts from false news sources on users’ Facebook feeds about political subjects can significantly influence voting patterns, positively or negatively. More personally, social media influences the daily life decisions of its users like where to eat, stay and shop. Social media websites such as Citysearch, TripAdvisor and Yelp create an opportunity for businesses to grab the attention of customers. In 2004, Jeremy Stoppelman founded Yelp, the first restaurant site to emphasize user reviews over professional critics. While these services can be beneficial, atrocious reviews can hurt a business’s reputation. Furthermore, one person’s reviews may not be a reliable measure of a restaurant’s actual quality. Restaurant owners accuse other restaurants of gaming the system through stacking reviews from friends and family. Along with news and business factors, social media plays an important role in the individual lives of its users. Twitter allows users to tweet out information or opinions

Dude, right?

I can’t wait to see how many likes this fight gets illustration/JESSIE JALCA

in 140-character bursts. For many critics, tweets make Twitter antithetical to sophisticated, thoughtful conversation. Finding the difference between meaningful real world relationships and casual relationships formed through online communication channels poses a challenge in today’s society. Close friends with real-world ties build more influential relationships than casual acquaintances started online. The influence of social media on adolescents shows importance, not only because this generation of children depicts developmental vulnerability, but also because they contribute the heaviest amount of users on social networking sites. Seventy-three percent of teenagers in America currently maintain profiles on multiple social networking sites distracting from the real-world. Susceptibility to peer pressure makes adolescents vulnerable to evils such as depression, sexting and cyber bullying. Social network-induced addiction and sleep deprivation continue to be under intense scrutiny for the contradictory results obtained in various studies on Healthline, an online health and well-being site. The digital footprint, a trail that users leave the moment they sign into any service, has permanent effects as it can have serious repercussions in both professional and personal areas of life. No matter if deleted, Twitter posts remain on the live feed. Other users possess the ability to screenshot the post. Social media allows a user to meet and interact with others around the world, creating friendships otherwise not attainable, but can affect real-life social relationships. Introverts and socially reclusive users place too much emphasis on virtual interaction, ignoring the real world outside. Focusing so much time and energy on these less-meaningful relationships weakens human connections that are more important. Social media has become not only part of people’s lives, but the thing their life revolves around. Putting information out there for the world to see calls for care and awareness of the consequences that each post can create.

hilights insight

Wednesday, February 15, 2017




Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercial followed German founder Adolphus Busch’s immigration journey to America, stirring political controversy and starting the #BoycottBudweiser trend from conservatives.

It’s a big role in not just my life, but everybody’s. We revolve around it, especially with laptops in school. I always have [my phone] on me, and we can’t communicate without it anymore. - Albert Maier de Biedma, senior

From the right:


Media outlets motivate change Using social media provides business options, personal connections and a political playground.


500 million tweets posted each day

71 percent of students use more than one social media site

92 percent of teens go online daily


percent of consumers rely on social media for purchasing decisions

By CHASITY MAYNARD In an era of controversy and division, Americans search for a common, unifying force that connects the nation while retaining each person’s individuality. Social media provides a platform for Americans to meet, work and obtain worldly news. Providing more than just selfies and “spam” accounts on platforms like Instagram or Twitter, social media offers access to world news as it occurs. Reputable sources, such as The New York Times and The Associated Press, communicate news to the public as it occurs via social media. Livestreams provide real-time footage to people who do not have access to television or cable, giving viewers instantaneous access to events and broadening the number of possible viewers. Often times, social media platforms release coverage faster than published articles. As a society, knowledge on worldly news empowers individuals to speak out and motivates change. News coverage via social media catalyzes social activism, flooding the public with information fueling protests and reforms. Witnessing or reading about current events reaches out to individuals’ hearts, connecting people to news that may not affect them directly. Immediate access sparks necessary changes around the world. Social networking proves invaluable for keeping the public informed. Politicians’ public accounts provide easy access to their stances on topics, increasing the number of informed voters. Well-informed voters secure the best candidates possible and allow citizens to fully enjoy the freedoms of democracy. Social media supplies platforms for activists to connect and initiate productive responses to world events. Videos and speeches shared on social media remain, providing well-documented history in the pockets of most Americans. Social networking’s video storages create an accurate and wholesome coverage of important events more objectively than textbooks, providing future historians and students the most precise and objective records to date. Customers and businesses alike thrive from platforms such as Facebook, Yelp and Urbanspoon. Entrepreneurs sustain and support their businesses based on social media, such as restaurants’ free or affordable food and services marketing. Consumers use media to read and write reviews of meals and services, assisting one another with honest insight on food services. Likewise, apps allow restaurants to market their services and adapt to feedback from consumers. The market grows as consumers options’ improve, and restaurants receive an influx of customers. Growing consumer markets support businesses, which improve the economy, feeding income into homes across the nation. Through a trickle-down effect, social media improves the lives of the general population with a dispersion of increased funds, stemming from social media’s aid to businesses. Relationships reach new levels from unlimited interactions online. Direct messaging platforms such as Kik enable effortless

illustration/JESSIE JALCA

connections between people. Search a name and thousands of results follow. Some programs sort results based on location or relation to other followers. General access to users in the area allows individuals to establish more relationships than ever before, expanding each person’s social support network with the tap of a screen. Human interactions evolve as availability changes. A simple follow, like or post allows people to casually reach out to one another, establishing new relationships easily and without awkward introductions. Boundaries such as distance and time no longer impede old and new friendships, and even romances grow and mature from online interactions. With varieties, of relationships spurring from different apps, populations grow diverse and new relationships form. Diversity and new connections create a greater atmosphere for change. Individuals reach new levels of closeness from constant access and effortless connections, producing a more connected and united culture. In times of controversy, social media helps unite citizens. Social networking’s countless benefits can cause harm if used improperly . People have a tendency to compare themselves to others on social media in unrealistic ways. Like everything in life, using social media without moderation results with negative habits or effects; overuse can lead to neglecting face-to-face interactions. Fake news may spread if people fail to check the reliability of their sources. However, human errors cause the problems that rise from social media. Instead of blaming social media, people should consider the fault in their own actions. Humans hold the key to innovation and connection: social media. Opportunities blossom as the world of social media develops, giving way to career options, new relationships and immediate news responses. Social media offers each person a voice for speaking their opinions and ears for hearing one another’s ideals.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

artsentertainment Communication sites harm future prospects By TYLER RISPOLI With 65 percent of employers admitting they check social media, according to a survey conducted by, creating a positive and professional presence helps applicants. Social media comes with responsibility, whether a freshman in high school or a senior finishing up scholarship applications every post and share is attached to an individual. Irresponsible social media conduct could potentially ruin college acceptance and negatively impact a career, not to mention hurt others in the process. Collectively Americans spend more than 120 billion minutes on social media, according to usnews. com. and consequences are preventable with just a little foresight into proper social media management.



Don’t have posts just about you, include friends

Create positive content follow accounts related to your field of study

Don’t post questionable photos of yourself


Create your own brand, Keep consistency and post with purpose

ßquiz answers Mostly A’s: You do not have a problem with social media, you use it as a tool but know when it is appropriate to be on it. Mostly B’s: You use social media frequently and could benefit from some time off, but you are not reliant on it. Mostly C’s: You use social media to frequently, you may be becoming too dependent on it.

or negative comments

use it to connect with prospective employers and others

engage with people who you admire

Say thank you when people compliment you and interact on posts sources:,,,,

Don’t disrespect your teachers Don’t post party pictures Don’t post cyberbully others you’re so ugly

February_Special Edition  

Social Media and its effects

February_Special Edition  

Social Media and its effects