- Alex Kirsch
What's on Edgemont's FYP?
Once the clock strikes 3:07, students and teachers can part ways from school and engage in their own separate activities. You might presume what students and teachers do in their free time is very different, but this is really not the case. After a long day of school, everyone needs a break. And for all of us, despite some teachers nagging at students that “kids these days never get off their phones,” these breaks can come from social media—specifically, scrolling through our personalized feeds. Teachers enjoy the distractions, laughs, and connections social media platforms provide just as much as kids do. A handful of Edgemont teachers shared some details about their social media feeds and preferences…and some of what they said might surprise you.
When Ms. Forgione uses Instagram Reels, she sometimes sees cheerleading videos (mainly stunting) and baby gender reveal videos. Another teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, admitted to watching lots of old television show memes and fan accounts. Two-animal loving teachers, Ms. Salzano and Ms. Fischer, have animal-related content on their feed, too. Ms. Salzano is a cat-lover, so she sees lots of cat videos that brighten her day. Ms. Fischer really likes otters, so she follows Ottersklub.
Of course, some teachers follow accounts that go hand-in-hand with the subject they teach or taught previously. Ms. Forgione follows Delta Math, a math software program she uses in many classes. Ms. Salzano follows some foreign language accounts. And even though she is fully an English teacher now, Ms. Fischer follows AP Psychology accounts because she used to teach that class.
AP Psych accounts may not be the norm for most kids, but most teachers follow things that students may deem more common. For example, nearly all of us—teachers and students—follow friends to keep in touch and see what is going on with them. Most of us also follow an athlete, a team, a league, a network, or something sports-related.
As Ms. Salzano is a big tennis fan/player/coach, she follows many tennis players and accounts. If you know Ms. Fischer, you know she is a massive Philadelphia Eagles and Philadelphia 76ers fan. And due to this interest, she follows these teams and many other Philadelphia sports-related accounts. All of these teachers also follow accounts that provide news from around the world. One teacher touted social media as a global and sports news outlet because that teacher’s kids monopolize the television at home.
As great as all of this social media is, there are obviously some concerns and things to take into account when using different platforms, and teachers face such dilemmas, too. One teacher said that social media can be used really well if it is being used properly, explaining that it is important to “take everything you see on social media with a grain of salt because it is easy to only post the best of the best and not see the full picture.”
Along the same lines, Ms. Fischer stated, “I am so glad social media was not a thing when I was a teenager. Adolescence is hard enough without having constant pictures/content to compare to your own.” She “rolls her eyes” when her feed includes “moms who portray a perfect life with their toddlers while feeding them homemade organic vegetarian meals.”
In trying to promote the positive side of social media, Ms. Salzano found five Instagram accounts she follows that she believes students might enjoy as well: @finance_millenial, @animalsdoingthings, @chonky.posts, @thirdeyethoughts, and @ckyourprivilege.
Even though there are definite drawbacks of social media, and it is necessary to remember that not everything posted online is what it seems, many teachers and students agree that social media is a big part of their day. We rely on it for sports, news, keeping in touch with friends, watching cat videos, and lots of other things. And it’s important to note that what we as students see online is not so different from what our teachers see and that, after a long day at school, everyone deserves a break.