By Alexis Nunez, Castlemont High School student

Eric Quezeda is a student at Castlemont High School. He says he uses a social media service called Instagram. He says that he uses Instagram to make a story of his life. He makes a sneak peak of his life and he also takes pictures to express himself. He says that he talks to his family through social media because they are far away.

Social media is a positive thing and a negative thing. It can be used to help family members communicate from far away, but it also can be a negative because it is used a lot for bullying.

Teacher Carolina Haslanger of Castlemont uses a social media site called Facebook. She uses that particular social media site in order to talk to her students who missed school. She can post homework there and even video assignments they have done in class.

But Ms. Haslanger says social media is also a negative thing because it’s very addictive to her as well, and to kids. One negative way people use social media is being on it through the night and not getting enough sleep. Eric Quezeda says that he gets “caught up” when he uses Instagram because he posts too many pictures during inappropriate times, meaning in the middle of the night, or during class when he should be paying attention.

In sum, social media is a positive thing because it allows people to connect with each other from all over the world. It is also a negative thing because people use it so much during the day and night, which means they don’t get enough sleep and they get distracted from school or work.

Find complete “Education Voices: Youth seek identity” series links HERE.

(Ms. Nunez reported and wrote this story while participating in the Oakland Local Education Voices program in collaboration Youth Uprising and Castlemont High School. The program was funded by The California Endowment. Find the entire series HERE. Ed Voices instructors Shaka Redmond of Youth Uprising and Irene Florez, Barbara Grady and Jon Leckie of Oakland Local congratulate Ms. Nunez.)

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