Are Teens Closing the Door on Social Media?

If you’re looking for ways to connect with your teenage audience online, don’t count on Twitter, Facebook, or even Instagram, says Felicity Duncan, Assistant Professor of Digital Communication and Social Media, Cabrini College, in an article on The Conversation. As part of her research into digital communities, she examined recent research into social media channels, who’s using them, and who’s leaving. Tracking trends away from public venues like Twitter and onto narrowcast ones like Snapchat, Duncan posits that teens are seeking to have more control over their conversations and avoiding permanent online records.

“Instead of posting generic and sanitized updates for all to see, they are sharing their transient goofy selfies and blow-by-blow descriptions of class with only their closest friends,” writs Duncan.

In the article, Duncan cites three main reasons for leaving.

  1. Now that older generations are using tools like Facebook, teens are more hesitant to publicly share intimate updates.
  2. Through education and experience, teens understand the permanence of social media posts and want to avoid embarrassment 10 years down the road.
  3. They also understand that employers now look at social media profiles and don’t want anything to hinder future career prospects.

While teens may still be checking in on public social media for updates on brands and celebrities they follow, if the trend continues, they will not be providing companies with the lifestyle data that’s invaluable to marketing. 

Read “So long social media: the kids are opting out of the online public square,” by Felicity Duncan, The Conversation (February 2, 2016)

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