CCSS: 6.SP.B.4, 6.SP.B.5, 7.SP.B.3, 8.SP.A.1, MP1, MP5, MP6

TEKS: 6.12A, 6.12B, 6.12C, 6.12D, 6.13A, 7.6G, 7.12A, 8.5C, 8.11A

Staying Connected

The first question everyone asks the first day of school is usually: What did you do this summer? But chances are you already know how your friends spent their time off.

Today, most teens stay connected year-round with apps. And there are a lot of options! Maybe you uploaded videos to Instagram, shared Stories on Snapchat, played online video games together, or texted via WhatsApp to tell friends about your adventures. 

None of these apps were an option only 15 years ago. Facebook didn’t exist until 2004, and the first iPhone wasn’t released until 2008. Kids could only talk or text on their phones to stay in touch. Now, you can tweet to all your friends with just a few taps.

But staying safe on social media is important too. “Remember, it’s against the law to even have a social media account if you aren’t at least 13,” says psychologist Jean Twenge.

Almost one-fifth of teens say someone has made them feel unsafe or uncomfortable online. More than one-third of teens have been cyberbullied. Make sure your privacy settings are enabled so only trusted friends and family can see your personal information. If you see any cyberbullying, report the user and tell a parent or trusted adult. 

It’s also important to enjoy your free time offline. Twenge’s research has linked increased time on smartphones to increased unhappiness in teens.

“If you are hanging out electronically, you aren’t hanging out in person,” says Twenge. “When you are with your peers face-to-face, put the phone away!”

Google Quiz

Click the Google Quiz button below to share an interactive version of the questions with your class. Click Download PDF for the non-interactive blank Answer Sheet.

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iABC/ (Background); iStockPhoto (Girl); 12bit/ (Phone); rvlsoft/ (Facebook); Tanuha2001/ (Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr); Solomon7/ (Messenger, Twitter); Rose Carson/ (Pinterest); BigTunaOnline/ (Reddit); Mr Aesthetics/ (WhatsApp); Dennizn/ (Hangouts)

Answer the following questions using the information in the charts and graphs above. Record your work and answers on our answer sheet.

What percentage of teens said Twitter was their top social media app in fall 2017?

A. 7%

B. 11%

C. 24%

D. 47%

About how many teens surveyed said they hung out with their friends online?

A. 215

B. 420

C. 555

D. 840

About how many kids surveyed said they’ve been cyberbullied while using an instant messenger program?

A. 50

B. 160

C. 240

D. 390

Which app had about 4 times the visitors in February 2018 as WhatsApp?

A. Messenger

B. Twitter

C. WhatsApp

D. Tumblr

In the infographic on social media users in February 2018, how many more people used the app with the most users than the least?

A. 16 million

B. 106 million

C. 149 million

D. 165 million

What’s the approximate ratio of the number of teens who hang out at school to the total surveyed?

A. 300:1,009

B. 555:1,009

C. 300:555

D. 840:1,009

Which social media platform(s) decreased in popularity between fall 2017 and spring 2018?

About how many more teens preferred Snapchat in fall 2016 than Twitter?

About how many more teens said they hang out in their neighborhood than at a job?

Which of the top social media apps has had the most consistent number of teens picking it as their favorite? Explain.

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