The Rise of Discord: The Next Viral Social Media Platform For BCA Students?

Discord is a communication platform that has been rising in popularity among BCA students since the pandemic.


Hannah Shin and Sue-Ah Choi

May 13th, 2022, marked the seventh anniversary of the release of Discord. Though first released almost seven years ago, Discord appears to have only recently reached its peak usage – and in many ways, beyond its original intent. 

The communication platform was first created for gamers to voice chat, text, and play games simultaneously, however it has grown increasingly popular among students. From a recent survey, 59.9% of BCA students chose Discord as their most frequently used social media platform to communicate with other students on. 

Last spring, BCA’s acceptance letters for the Class of 2025 brought about a rush of students who resorted to using Discord to communicate with one another. In the hopes of connecting with their future classmates, many joined the newly created BCA 2025 Discord server: an online community created by other students to text each other on who had been accepted into the Academies. Topics discussed in the server ranged from school schedules to favorite shows to various random topics – with each thread of conversation organized into different channels, or designated areas for each conversation. 

Though seemingly well-known among students, many had not heard of Discord until joining the BCA 2025 server. “I started using Discord in 2021 after receiving my BCA acceptance letter,” said Chloe Cho, a current freshman. She joined the BCA 2025 server to connect with her future classmates, and she was not alone. 

Many other students in the Class of 2025 recall first hearing about Discord through the BCA 2025 server. “I started using Discord the summer before BCA, because I heard there was a 2025 group chat for the entire class,” said Jeannelle Tellado, another student of the Class of 2025.

But why exactly is Discord so popular among students? According to Chloe, the sheer concept of Discord fits along with the mentality of BCA students. “BCA students do not use Instagram as much, because they don’t really like to post and they study instead,” she said. “Same with Snapchat, they find streaks as a waste of time more than others do. Discord can be less distracting, because we do not post stories and stuff.” 

BCA students certainly seem to use Discord very often – from a recent survey, 77.1% of BCA students reported to use Discord every day. 

Other students have vocalized the specific features of Discord that they find the most helpful. Tony Wang, a freshman, described some of the unique abilities of Discord. “On Discord, you can stream your screen to someone. That’s really helpful, because you can see what they’re doing without having them have to send you photos. I get help with homework, and it’s just helpful with any assignments I do, like peer editing.”

Audrey Yip is a current junior who also had something to add about the abilities of Discord. “Discord added a lot of good features where you can send code with a special format and send files. Even though they do have a word limit, it’s easier to send [on Discord] than emailing or sharing a word document, so it’s just better.” She also mentioned the seamless ability to contact other students on Discord since exact contact information of a student is not needed, such as their phone number. 

Interestingly, Discord has been associated with toxicity by these same students. “When you go into random servers,” said Tony, “you find out how strange people are in what they think on an anonymous platform…People are generally more open on social media than they are in real life.”

Chloe had a similar point of view. “Even though it applies to any other social media, I think it’s more on Discord, especially among BCA students, that we sometimes tend to take care of others more and get involved in other peoples’ business – especially in large servers. Sometimes people are too trusting and say something that they shouldn’t have said or regret saying later in a server.” 

Large servers have a reputation for getting out of hand: the anonymity, the vast amount of people, and the many conversations at once make it almost too easy to take on an entirely different persona on Discord. Unlike Instagram, where followers are displayed, or Snapchat, where notifications are sent if one takes a screenshot of a picture or text conversation, Discord does not include these features. 

“I think large servers are overwhelming,” said Audrey. “Let’s say it’s a server created for a band or a celebrity. People will try to be relatable and, I guess, stand out, but I would rather try to not do that.” 

Many students prefer smaller servers over large servers due to the fact that there is a more tight-knit and integrated community. Large servers can create a group of people who may feel the need to almost perform or stand out in front of the sea of people online, as Audrey explained.

Students also have complained about the sheer amount of notifications that they receive in large servers. But a good majority also enjoy joining in on any conversation at any point in the day in large servers.

Whether it’s large servers or small servers, many agree that Discord is here to stay as a communication platform. It has certainly grown over the years to be a mainstream platform for BCA students. 

Audrey sums it up: “I think it would be here to stay. It started for gamers, right? But it’s evolved to attract more kinds of people. Even if you’re not a gamer, you can still use Discord to talk with your friends or do any kind of work or projects.” The next time your classmate opens Discord, don’t be surprised: Discord is a social media platform like no other that is here to stay.

Writer: Hannah Shin

Interviewer & Researcher: Sue-Ah Choi