Technology is changing many of of the traditions we associate with school. Yearbooks, prom photos, and other traditional items high schoolers generally purchase are getting replaced by photos taken on iPhones and digital cameras. Can you blame students? The choice is $60 for a yearbook versus easily recording memories themselves in an album on Facebook for free, and in a matter of minutes. Yearbook publishers have taken note and are trying new ways to entice customers. Book/DVD combos and access to online materials are becoming more popular and keeping some students interested—for now.
I don’t think memories should cost anything,” Paul Tee, a senior at Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas, told the Dallas Morning News. Only half of his school’s population shelled out money for a traditional yearbook. Tee plans on getting his photos from prom online from a friend.
“I have issues with kids saying they can’t afford it and then buying a pair of $100 jeans,” said Linda Drake of the Journalism Education Association. “I don’t see the school spirit. I don’t see the school camaraderie.”
Does diminished interest in yearbooks and school photos signal a drop in school spirit, bad news for the yearbook club, and/or less revenue for school fundraising? How might schools take advantage of this evolution in school culture?