Why an Ink-and-Paper High School Yearbook Even in the Age of Online Social Media

The traditional paper-and-ink high school yearbook has lessened in importance among young people because of their growing preferences for free social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. In contrast, you have to pay a good amount of money, say, $40, for the school yearbook.

Still, we have plenty of good things to say about the relevance of the traditional paper-and-ink high school yearbook in the age of online social networking. It is often a matter of letting students see such relevance in the here and now as well as in the future.

Establish a Strong Sense of Ownership

Admittedly, the production of the school yearbook is assigned to a few selected individuals including students, staff and teachers while the rest of the student body wait for their copies. This does not mean, fortunately, that the published annual high school yearbook is not the entire student body’s property; it is theirs in every way imaginable.

Think of it: You are part of your school and, thus, every part of it is also yours including the yearbooks where your photos, quotations and other memorabilia are printed on. When you purchase the yearbooks, you immediately become their owner, too – these become part of your history just as much as you are part of your school’s history.

On a related note, if you are part of the annual high school yearbook committee, you can use online social media to establish a strong sense of ownership among the students where the publication is concerned. You may create a Facebook account where teachers and students can contribute photos, stories and quotes that can be included in the yearbook while also updating them on the status of publication. Plus, you can use the Facebook account to market the finished high school yearbook.

Take a Look Back at History – Your Story, to be Exact

Online social media networking sites allow their members to connect with their family, friends and acquaintances in real time. You can chat with them, post your pictures and tag them, and update your daily status, all of which are aimed at letting your friends and family know what you are up to in the here and now.

In contrast, a high school yearbook tells the story of a year in high school, which obviously happened in the past. It is a way of telling a history, not just of your school but of yourself as well as seen through your eyes and the eyes of your teachers and fellow students. It is a memorable keepsake telling your story to those who were actually part of it, which cannot be said of social networking sites.

Permanence on Ink and Paper

Most important of all, a high school yearbook has permanence on ink and paper. With social networking sites, your photos, status updates and past interactions can easily be taken down either by your decision or by the management’s decisions; think of your old Friendster account and you get the point. Obsolescence, after all, is the name of the game in online sites.
In conclusion, the trick in making your high school yearbook relevant even in amidst the challenges of social media is to ensure that only the best photos and the most engaging stories are included in it.

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