What social media apps are teens using and what for?

This month, a parent of two teenage boys asked me about social media apps that teens are using, and what they are using them for. It’s true that social media apps have different uses for different teens. 

This isn’t an everybody take on things; It’s a me take on things. So, take it for what it’s worth. 

Tik Tok

Tik Tok, formerly known as Musically, is an app that has a lot of funny videos. I’d describe it as the new and improved Vine.

It isn’t a bad app, but it has some things on it that some teens shouldn’t watch, but you see what you want to see like on any other app. 

Teens use it to post funny videos and watch funny videos. 

There is a funny side, a dance side, a political side. I like it for the funny videos, but it’s got something for everyone, really.

It can be a waste of time, but it’s so funny. I feel like this app is where you can be yourself and not care what people think. 


Instagram is where you post what you want people to see to get a lot of likes. It’s kind of like your main account where you can’t really be yourself, but where you have to show a more serious self.

I don’t post much on Instagram because I don’t want people to get annoyed by me. I try to like things that people post because I don’t want them to feel bad about themselves.

Instagram can be a happy place if you get a lot of likes, but you feel stupid if you don’t.

It’s not my happy place.


Snapchat is an app where you snap pictures while texting. You can have streaks with people, which means that you have kept up an amount of consecutive days that you have snapped each other. 

The picture you snap goes away after it’s opened, which can be a bad feature if you use it that way. 

I like Snapchat because It’s like my journal.

I take videos I take and save them to memories, but people don’t have to see them.

There are so many features to the Snapchat app that I like, and it’s my most used app, and probably the most used teen app next to Tik Tok.


Teens do not usually use Facebook. I bet you we all have it for family reasons, but we don’t use it. It’s for old people. (Aspen Brown is a sophomore in high school. She enjoys cheering on her high school cheer team, running track and spending time with her friends and family. Her monthly column, “Ask Aspen” is an advice column for parents raising teenagers.)

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