Why Are Teens Leaving Facebook in Droves?
The omni-popular social media network is losing esteem among 16- 18-year-olds in the European Union who are trying their best to disassociate themselves from the site. And the reason behind this mass exodus? Parents, of course.
But it’s probably not what you think. Although when Facebook first started garnering attention from kids parents were concerned by possible breaches of their children’s privacy and other vulnerabilities they could be exposed to, those days are long gone. Before, teens had to worry about their elders banning them from the site, but now they have to worry about them bugging them on social media. According to the Global Social Media Impact Study, which collected data in eight EU countries, receiving a “dreaded” friend request from their mom or dad has ruined Facebook for most teens.
In other words, parents have made Facebook uncool and everyone knows there’s no coming back from that. In fact, some are dramatically pronouncing it “dead and buried.”
And yet, a Pew study in May showed that although American teens share their European counterparts’ concerns about increasing adult presence, “teen Facebook usage climbed one percentage point between 2011 and 2012.” As Amanda Hess wrote on Slate at the time, “Facebook is the living dead: the most popular, least relevant social network where teenagers and adults alike gather out of fear of missing out on things that don’t even make them happy.”
Sorry, kids, dead or alive or somewhere in between, Facebook is here to stay.
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi
Wait, before you go…
Facebook is ‘dead and buried’ to older teenagers, an extensive European study has found, as the key age group moves on to Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat.
Researching the Facebook use of 16-18 year olds in eight EU countries, the Global Social Media Impact Study found that as parents and older users saturate Facebook, its younger users are shifting to alternative platforms.
“Facebook is not just on the slide – it is basically dead and buried,” wrote Daniel Miller, lead anthropologist on the research team, who is professor of material culture of University College London.
“Mostly they feel embarrassed to even be associated with it. Where once parents worried about their children joining Facebook, the children now say it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives.”
Teens do not care that alternative services are less functional and sophisticated, and they also unconcerned about how information about them is being used commercially or as part of surveillance practice by the security services, the research found.
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