Why teens are leaving Facebook: “It’s Meaningless”


I found this article on the Washington Post, and I wanted to share some highlights with my readers.  Here is the full article.Teen Social Media Use

Here are some of my favorite lines from the article, and my response.

  • Teens are leaving Facebook in droves for new friends like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter — at an estimated rate of up to a million a year.  This is not new news, but the decline started almost three years ago.  Seeing the decline, Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for less than $1 Billion.  
  • With widespread parental supervision on the service, many teenagers prefer the anonymity of Whisper, the iPhone era’s version of PostSecret.  Unfortunately, many teens and adults believe that social media is temporary and private.  However, anyone can instantly take a screen shot and turn that pic or joke that you thought would go away into a permanent regret.  
  • “I feel like friend is becoming very vague,” he argued. “It’s like the word love… You say love to a lot of people and things you don’t actually love. It’s more of a compliment now. I know you and I’ll talk to you. It’s like saying, ‘We can converse.’ It’s kind of like being polite.”  This young man explains how social media has changed the concept of friendship in our world.  The word friend has been water-downed to include more people, yet less intimacy.  
  • For Eric, adapting to a new type of social media is like learning a new language — a feat studies have shown is easier for young people than it is adults.  While I completely agree with Eric, I think that those who believe that adults will not follow their children are underestimating the power of parental curiosity.  
  • Cnet’s Jennifer Van Grove adds that apps like Snapchat are the “opposite of Facebook: simple, seemingly secret, and fun.” Van Grove writes, “Around schools, kids treat these apps like pot, enjoyed in low-lit corners, and all for the undeniable pleasure and temporary fulfillment of feeling cool.”  I believe that the future of social media will promote social exclusivity and practicality uses.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.

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