Filtering your friends


Social media not only helps teens to find people to chat with, but also allows users to find solid friendships, further their careers, and find life-changing support.

At fifteen years old, Paige Benjamin knew she wanted to work for Seventeen magazine. She had the drive, enthusiasm, and hunger to work in the magazine industry, but was missing connections. She was in Indiana, but everyone she needed to connect with was in New York. Like many teens might, she took to the internet.

Pew Research cites social media as one of the most popular places to meet new people online and has found that 60 percent of teens ages fifteen to seventeen have made a new friend online. Teens are using social media now more than ever as a tool to make career connections, make new friends, and gain social support.

Career Connections

Paige sat next to her father on the two-hour flight from Indiana to New York. They weren’t on vacation, but he was with her as protection in the unlikely (but certainly possible) event that the person she was meeting was an axe murderer. After seven months of tweeting and talking over social media, Paige was about to meet her online friend for the first time. This friend, she believed, could jumpstart her career.

Four years ago, Paige scoured Seventeen’s website and found the name of someone who might be able to get her in: Lauren Ladnier. Her fingers hovered over the keyboard, ready to type an email. She paused. Lauren probably got a thousand emails a day from people just like Paige, seeking internships. Why not take a more personal approach?

Paige toggled over to the familiar blue square with the white bird inside: Twitter. She easily found Lauren’s page and read some of her recent tweets before sending Lauren a Direct Message.

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