The Dish on Discord

Gamers, Students and the Like Maximize the App


Courtesy of T3n.

“What song should we listen to next?” Suddenly, people are clamoring on the voice call, shouting out their favorite tracks. Calls with friends while a music bot plays in the background, conversations in communities centered around their favorite hobbies, and streaming video games to their friends are all just another day for Discord users. Many of you reading are probably thinking, “That’s me!” 

7th graders listen to music using a bot in their discord server. It connects to YouTube and you can request any song with a simple command.

Discord is a messaging program used for communication through voice calls, video calls, and text messaging. Essentially, you can think of it like Skype and Facebook Messenger combined, but with key differences that are its secret to success. 

“It’s a very convenient way to have a voice call with friends back home streaming crossword puzzles,” said Mr. Coleman, a Discord user. Many people use it as a modern substitute for other messaging apps. “Communicating with people after I get home is one reason I use Discord,” Mr. Hutchings explained.

People can easily make group chats specifically for studying, with reading zones, homework zones, etc for organization. It works on both mobile too!

Thanks to unique features like streaming, moderating, and bots with different functions, the app quickly exploded in popularity back in 2015, and has become a staple messaging app in the online scene ever since. The number of users is likely increasing as you read this article – going from 25 million registered users in 2016 to 300 million in 2020, a 1200% increase in 4 years. An incredible 850 million messages are sent everyday on the app. Some people around you might be chatting on Discord right at this moment – it’s no wonder that the app is so popular, with how easy to use it is.

Being able to socialize with your friends and meet new ones is one of the greatest advantages of the app, as you can find countless Discord servers of like-minded people. There’ll be a group for whatever hobby or common interest you can think of. Brian in 8th grade commented, “It helps me to be connected with friends, and this also helps our social interaction.” 

Too much freedom has its drawbacks, though. When students at DIS started to use the app, many began chatting with each other in school, which can interrupt classes. 

Mrs. Cameron stated firmly, “It is absolutely not appropriate for students to use Discord during class. That is something that should be used outside of school time, and just like other forms of social media, we should be extremely careful when we write something, because everything we write is left there forever unless we erase it.” 

Unless regulated by individual servers, inappropriate content is not inherently restricted, which can lead people to coming across inappropriate content. However, Discord does claim that the app is safe for those under 18 if inappropriate content filters are turned on. 

Privacy isn’t an issue with Discord, though. They don’t ask for users’ real names to make an account, and they don’t sell personal information either. Jayden in 7th grade said “It is great and feels safe that Discord doesn’t sell personal information, but you [have to] be careful of hackers in public Discord servers.” 

A discord user reports a phishing link sent to his inbox. Courtesy of Discord Support.

Users should keep in mind that they can get hacked, or have their private information stolen through grab links and phishing messages. Caution should always be exercised, especially when talking to people in new communities. “Anything that you send in Discord has a great chance of not being kept private. It is easier for someone to hack your entire computer. Even though it is sure that Discord is more secure than any other social platforms, social media companies are [still] not interested in keeping private information secured,” said Mr. Coleman.

All things considered, Discord is incredibly popular, and it doesn’t seem like the hype behind the app will die down any time soon. For non-users who want to socialize some more, go ahead and experience the winds of change with Discord. Just remember: be careful when talking to strangers, be on the lookout for hackers, and don’t say things you wouldn’t say in real life. Practice online safety, and be aware of the footprint you leave behind.