Social Media at MHS — A Case Study

Social Media — A Case Study



This year, Horizons Media Team Intern Nelly ’18 wanted to know more about Social Media use at Miss Hall's School. For her Senior Horizons project, Nelly researched how students and adults at Miss Hall's use social media. Here, she presents her findings.

    • Nelly ’18

      Nelly ’18


What is Social Media?

It is said that “
Social networks are one of the fastest growing industries in the world”. Social media is a form of electronic communication based on Internet use in which people share and receive information and personal ideas from each other. Nowadays, social media is so popular that it can be simply defined as almost every websites on the internet such as Facebook, Twitter or Youtube. Some messaging mobile apps like Whatsapp, Viber,etc. also serve a few features of social media.

Watch This Video to Learn More
How to use Social Media?

To use social media, it is necessary to have an electronic device such as mobile, laptop or TV that is connected to the Internet. Many social media websites are accessible to everyone. However, if a person wants to share information or discuss it with other people, they need to create their own account that can be logged into at anytime.
Why is Social Media important?

Social media is now seen as the fastest way to obtain information since the news is updated constantly. It also helps people to expand their social network regardless of time and location by communicating with each other through the internet. In business, social media strongly supports online marketing by allowing a company’s agencies to promote their brand widely and serve their customers better. In education, social media helps people to gain knowledge through online communication and research because almost everything can be found on various websites.

The effects of social media are twofold, depending on the users' purposes.

Some positive effects:
  • Staying in touch (people can contact each other directly or indirectly through social media anywhere anytime)
  • Improving technical skills (staying online is the best way for people to learn technical skills and experience them)
  • Building a strong network relationship (people can easily communicate to other people and make new friends)
  • Giving people an equal voice (people can freely share whatever they want and everyone has a chance to view it)
  • Reducing stress (people can find many kinds of entertainment through social media)
  • Being up-to-date (people are notified immediately of any events that occur in the world)
  • Increasing interaction in business (social networking narrows the gap between a company and their current or potential customers)
  • Creating more opportunities in education (people can always seek information online and learn how to do new things through detailed guidance and videos.
Some negative effects:
  • Decreasing productivity (spending too much time on social media distracts people from daily activities)
  • Social isolation (depending too much on social network can make people no longer want to talk in real life)
  • Cyberbullying (some people use social media to hurt other people by offending them publicly or sending private messages to intimidate or threaten them)
  • Being misinformed (people can be defrauded by fake news which seem to be very true)
  • Privacy and safety concerns (some people can steal your personal information and use it to commit bad things)


Survey on students at MHS: (about 20-25 students each grade responded to the survey)

1.  How much time do you spend daily on social media?

•   Most seniors and freshman spend from 3 to 5 hours per day, some spend from 1 to 3 hours per day, a few spend less than 1 hour or more than 5 hour per day.
•   Most juniors and sophomore spend from 1 to 3 hours per day, some some spend from 3 to 5 hours, a few spend less than 1 hour per day, none spend more than 5 hour per day. 

(Freshman and seniors usually have more free time because sophomores and juniors have to focus more on their studies and other outdoor activities. What students accomplish in those two years is very important when they do college application.)

2.  Which social media apps do you use?


•   Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube are the most common.
•   Some use other social media apps such as Wechat, Tumblr or Pinterest.


3. What do you use Social Media for?

•  Education and business
•  Entertainment  
•  Getting news/information
•  Contacting family/friends

4. Which device(s) do you use to access Social Media?

•  Phone and laptop are the most common.
•  Some use TV, computers and tablet.

5. Do you think Social Media is important?

•  Most of them agree, some of them choose fair.

6. Do you think Social Media have a good or bad effect on students at MHS?

•  Most of them choose so-so, and a few choose not sure.

(Social Media has many advantages but overusing or misusing them can also bring many disadvantages. )

7. What advice do you have for MHS students about Social Media use?

•   Manage your time logically so you do not let Social Media affect your healthy lifestyle.
•  Be mindful of what you are posting or saying to other people on the Internet.
•  Protect your personal data and online profile.

Social Media Interviews with Two MHS Students


Stacey (10th grade):

  • Do you use social media frequently? - Yes, I use it everyday.
  • What is your main purpose of using social media? - I usually use social media to update daily news and contact my family and friends through Facebook Messenger. Sometimes, I use Snapchat and Instagram to upload videos for my friends to see them.
  • Do you think social media affects social life? If yes, in what ways? - Yes, I think social media makes people life become much more easier since nowadays, people can always contact each other without meeting directly and they no longer need a newspaper to know about current events.
  • Do you think students at MHS spend too much time on social media? If yes, is it good or bad? - I don't think they spend too much time on social media since the school schedule is quite busy for students. They have to participate in afternoon activities after school and do homework in the evening. Some also have music rehearsals or meetings frequently.  
  • What advice do you have for MHS students about social media use? - Try not to spend too much time on social media because it might affect your mental health and study.
  • What guidelines do you believe MHS should have for social media use? - Be responsible for what you do on the Internet and balance between your time using social media and doing other things.

Levi (12th grade):

  • Do you use social media frequently? - Yes, but not so often.
  • What is your main purpose of using social media? - I mostly use social media to keep in touch with my parents and contact my friends when needed. Sometimes, I also use it to search information.
  • Do you think social media affects social life? If yes, in what ways? - Yes, because social media helps connect people together. Before social media is invented, people have to use their phone to call or text other people or meet them face to face when necessary, but nowadays they just need an Internet to do so.
  • Do you think students at MHS spend too much time on social media? If yes, is it good or bad? - I am not sure about this but I think students at MHS do not spend too much time on social media.
  • What advice do you have for MHS students about social media use? - Don't spend too much time online because it is better for you to have some experience outside of the classroom and hang out with your friends.
  • What guidelines do you believe MHS should have for social media use? - Use social media in a smart way so that you can take advantages from it.

Interviews with Two Members of the MHS Faculty

Ms. Rutledge:

  • Do you use Social Media frequently? - Yes, but I don't use them very frequently.
  • What is your main purpose of using Social Media? - My main purpose is to keep in touch with my family and friends through email and texting. However, I sometimes use Social Media to upload things on the Internet.
  • Do you think Social Media affects social life? If yes, in what ways? - Yes, I think Social Media keeps people staying connected and help people to spread ideas to community.
  • Do you think students at MHS spend too much time on Social Media? If yes, is it good or bad? - I think students actually spend a little bit too much time on Social Media and it is not a good thing because it prevents them from participating in outdoors activities and limits face to face communication.
  • What advice do you have for MHS students about Social Media use? - Social media is important but what I have seen is that it can easily take over students' life so that it need to be balanced properly.
  • What guidelines do you believe MHS should have for Social Media use? - The faculties should consider how much time students should spend on their electronic devices.

Mr. Sanzone:

  • Do you use Social Media frequently? - Yes, but not very frequently.
  • What is your main purpose of using Social Media? - I use Social Media to communicate with my friends, especially those who are far away from me.
  • Do you think Social Media affects social life? If yes, in what ways? - Yes, Social Media is great when you have friends far away because you can contact them directly.
  • Do you think students at MHS spend too much time on Social Media? If yes, is it good or bad? - I am not so sure but I don't think they spend too much time on Social Media.  
  • What advice do you have for MHS students about Social Media use? - They should try to balance the Social Media use and direct communication.
  • What guidelines do you believe MHS should have for Social Media use? - Make sure to take time to contact to other people face to face as well.
492 Holmes Road • Pittsfield, MA 01201  (413) 443-6401

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Located in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, Miss Hall's School is an all girls private, college preparatory boarding and day high school for grades 9-12.
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