In the last few years we’ve seen many social networks appear, only to crash and burn. Think of MySpace, Ping, Friendster—even Google+ (seriously, it’s dead). The one that seems to always stick around is Facebook. With over 1 billion users, it’s definitely the social network that all the cool kids are using these days. But do kids today actually think Facebook is cool? You might think so, but you’d be wrong.
Of course social media is a big part of the lives of today’s youth. They’re always on their phones, texting, Tweeting, posting pics of random things to a variety of networks. I may troll Facebook more than I should, but the younger crowd sure does account for a lot more activity than I’d ever try. That doesn’t mean they’re always on Facebook though. I read an article that talks of a 15 year old girl who’s been a Facebook user for only 2 years. Now she’s bored with it. It’s annoying. She’s moved on—well kind of.
While there’s definitely lots of social fun to be had on Facebook, it’s just not that private anymore. If you’re a teen on Facebook, then your family (namely your parents) pretty much has to be on there too. Call it checking up on you, call it what you will, but they’re there. When Facebook asks “how are you feeling?” or “what’s on your mind?” you can’t update your status with what you really want because mom’n’dad will see it.
Sure you could fuss about with limited profiles, but who has time for that? What does one do? Go elsewhere.
Twitter, Tumbler and Instagram have now become “the place to be.” There’s sharing to be had and it’s not so much under the watchful eyes of those you might not want to be watching (aka. your parents).
In its infancy, social media was all about expression—freedom of speech, for everyone! You could have a space on the internet where you could show the world what it was to be you. MySpace made it easy to design your own page the way you wanted, post the kinds of stuff you liked, and connect with others very easily.
Aside from some people having songs auto-play when you hit their site (seriously that’s annoying as hell), MySpace did pretty well for itself. Then along came Facebook—a social network bandwagon that was easy, breezy, beautiful (at the time) for everyone to jump on—and everyone did. Like your parents.
If today’s youth are jumping ship to other networks, is Facebook un-cool? Of course not. It just is for youth right now. Most teens agreed that once they’re old enough to mature past their parent’s watchful eyes, they’d probably use the site more—just like all the rest of us adults. That cool with you?