Students share thoughts on 2016 media trends and platforms

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Julio Estrada
Julio Estrada poses in front of a Harambe mural at a party that took place in Provo. Harambe has been one of the biggest trends of 2016. (Julio Estrada)

Social media trends vary each year. Harambe, the presidential election and Ken Bone took the internet by storm in 2016. As the year comes to a close, BYU students reflect on their favorite and least favorite social media trends, as well as the media platforms they enjoy using.

Lauren Cordoba, a junior from Texas studying sociology and business, said she likes the presidential trends right now and found some of them funny, but she was not a fan of Harambe.

“Honestly, the gorilla thing, I don’t understand it at all,” Cordoba said. “It’s my least favorite.”

Cordoba also said she loves Instagram.

“There are not a lot of words, and you have to capture what they’re trying to say in a picture,” Cordoba said.

Forrest Hamrick, a junior studying neuroscience, said he found animated memes funny.

“I enjoy those,” Hamrick said. “If that’s a trend, then it’s my favorite one”

Hamrick said Facebook is his favorite platform because it is worldwide. He has friends in many different countries who all used Facebook, he said, and all his family is on Facebook as well.

Ryan Turner
Mikelle Torgesen holds candles and laughs with friends at Harambe’s candlelight vigil on Nov. 28. (Ryan Turner)

“It appeals to the older generations,” Hamrick said. “It’s a little more simple, and my grandparents are on there. That’s where I can find all my friends in one place.”

Ellen Frederickson, a sophomore from Omaha, Nebraska, said her least favorite trend was the amount of hate that came from topics such as the election. It results in an overall negative outcome and effect.

“Over Facebook or Twitter, people are willing to say things they probably wouldn’t normally say in person,” Frederickson said.

Frederickson just returned from her mission and said she uses social media to stay connected to people from her mission. She said Instagram is her favorite platform because she gets to see pictures of her niece and nephews.

“Generally speaking, it’s a pretty positive environment,” Frederickson said. “You don’t see a lot of arguing on there.”

Lizzie Perkins, a senior from Hong Kong, also prefers Instagram.

“You can upload pictures, and now there’s a video option,” Perkins said. “I feel like Facebook is primarily my mother’s platform of choice.”

Tess Bertonneau, BYU elementary education graduate, said she found the Ken Bone memes hilarious.

“I just love how that took off because everyone was worrying about who was going to get elected,” Bertonneau said. “Then Ken Bone, he’s always there for you.”

Bertonneau said she disliked the “what are those” expression while pointing at shoes.

“I hate it, I’ve heard it too many times from my students,” Bertonneau said.

Bertonneau said she prefers Instagram because people see pictures and funny captions without having to find out everything about someone’s life.

“It’s easy to fall into the Instagram stalking hole,” Bertonneau said.

Josh Nilsen
Group of BYU students and a police officer pose over a casket. The death of Harambe has led to a nationwide mock mourning. (Josh Nilsen)

Preston Humphries, a freshman studying biochemistry, said he doesn’t know many trends but is aware of Harambe and the election.

“Harambe was a thing that went on for far too long,” Humphries said. “Any election meme or hashtag that went along with that was horrible.”

Chris Egan, a junior studying computer engineering, said there is too much negativity associated with the 2016 election posts.

“I don’t know if I have a favorite trend for social media,” Egan said. “Share the goodness!”

Egan said Facebook is the main social media platform he uses.

“Facebook is what I’ve been with for a long time, so it’s what I know how to use,” Egan said.

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