Over the next few weeks, Philly.com hosts Mouthful, a podcast that features dramatic monologues highlighting the experiences and perspectives of young Philadelphians. These monologues, which are performed by professional actors, are produced by Philly Young Playwrights and Yvonne Latty, director of the Reporting the Nation program at NYU's Carter Journalism Institute.
If you're reading this, chances are social media was not a huge part of your high school experience.
That may be a gross generalization, but let's go with it.
Imagine folding a digital reality into the already fraught social dynamics of middle school and high school.
"Do you like me, check 'yes' or 'no'" written on a piece of paper passed across the classroom under the watchful eye of a teacher has nothing on "likes" on Instagram and "streaks" on Snapchat. Yes, streaks.
"It's basically Snapchatting a person every day," a student at the Academy of Palumbo told us. "It's like a little fire thing that pops up and it shows how long you guys have been doing that."
Her longest streak? 300 days.
Of course not every social media interaction, including streaks, is romantic in nature, but again, go with it. Imagine one day, suddenly, your crush doesn't Snapchat you. Out of nowhere, your streak is gone, and the relationship is thrown into unfamiliar territory: digital silence.
Tech-life expert Stephanie Humphrey thinks not: "I think the overarching thing that parents and adults need to understand is that nothing has really changed about the way that kids interact with each other on a fundamental level. They just have better tools than we did back in the day if you will."
This week on Mouthful, a weekly podcast that places young people at the center of important conversations, we talk to a group of teens about social media, technology, and communication. And then we check in with our assumptions and think about our own social media use.