POSTED BY: Jim Ittenbach | August 20, 2013
When the Pew Internet and American Life Project released its “Teens, Social Media and Privacy” report in May, one thread of news coverage focused on teens’ “waning enthusiasm” for Facebook.
This theme surfaced during Pew’s focus group discussions with teens and stood in contrast to the excitement that was associated with newer platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
Pew was not the first to suggest that teens were starting to diversify their social media portfolio, and as such, the report became part of a larger meme that swiftly declared Facebook’s imminent demise.
But sampling other items at the social media buffet is not the same as swearing off salad forever. As recent coverage has noted, our national survey data did not indicate a decrease in the total number of Facebook-using teens, even though the focus group findings suggest that teens’ relationship with Facebook is complicated and may be evolving.
While some of the teen focus group participants reported positive feelings about their use of Facebook, many spoke negatively about an increasing adult presence, the high stakes of managing self-presentation on the site, the burden of negative social interactions (“drama”), or feeling overwhelmed by friends who share too much. One teen said that he started using Twitter because “everyone’s saying Facebook’s dead,” while another one explained that once you create a Twitter and an Instagram account, “then you’ll just kind of forget about Facebook.”
However, few of the teens had actually abandoned the biggest social media site altogether. As Pew noted in the report, “there were no indications in either the national survey or the focus groups of a mass exodus from Facebook.”
Read more here.