By Bob Poliquin, Managing Editor ~
Okay, you created a Facebook account to stay in touch with your friends, children, and grandchildren. And now that you have an account, your grandchildren abandoned their accounts for other social media outlets like Snapchat and Instagram. Time.com reports, “[W]hile 2012’s teens were all over Facebook, the age group’s presence on the social network has plummeted in the past six years. Only 15 percent of teens now say Facebook is their main social network. In 2012, 68 percent did.”
If you ask teens and young adults for an honest answer as to why they left Facebook, you will get a few reasons, one of which you won’t like. The main reason teens have left Facebook is the pictures and posts, sometimes very embarrassing ones, are out there for any Facebook “Friend” to see. Young people don’t want potential employers, colleges, you, or their parents to see the pictures and posts. In other words, they don’t want some people, like you, Grandma, to know what they are up to.
Facebook, according to kids, is also for old people.The Guardian quotes one former FB user: “As soon as parents got in, they killed it.” If you want to feel old, listen to what this young woman said; she doesn’t think Facebook is full of old people, just “more middle-aged people, like in their 30s and 40s.”
Are you worried about how social media affects young people? Your fears are not unfounded. Time.comreports that although half of teens think parents worry too much about social media, “46 percent think parents would be a lot more worried if they knew what ‘actually happens’ online.”
But don’t despair. Talk to your grandchildren and let them know that you understand why they don’t post on Facebook the way they once did. Ask them to stay in touch with you from high school or college and perhaps even livestream activities they want you to be part of. Many young people I spoke with for this article think of Facebook as an online family photo album, which is a reasonable compromise for multi-generational social media family groups.
Cover photo by Glen Carrie