If Facebook is Dead, What’s Next?

If you have teens, are you Facebook friends with them? It has been interesting to watch the evolution of Facebook with my young adult children. I can’t remember when I joined the legions on Facebook, but I know it was several years ago when businesses were just starting to sign up. My own interest was piqued after a Parenting Media Association convention, so I started an account not really knowing what I was doing. I inadvertently linked my personal Facebook to TulsaKids, so now we’re inextricably bound, even though I don’t manage any of the magazine’s social media, which includes our Facebook page, e-newsletter, website and Twitter. Abby Rodgers is our web and social media editor, and I am thankful for that. I have at times wanted to get off of Facebook forever, but I can’t because of that link I created back in the olden days.

Speaking of olden days, I just read an interesting article that cited some research done in Europe. According to this particular study, “Facebook is ‘dead and buried’ to older teenagers…as the key age group moves on to Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat.”

It was bound to happen.

For my kids, it seems that Facebook holds marginal appeal. My son, who is 26, no longer has a Facebook page. My daughters both got rid of theirs for a time, thinking that they didn’t really need a bunch of “friends” that they didn’t know. Now that their real friends are geographically distant, they’re back on, but post in a limited and purposeful way. I don’t think either of them spends much time on Facebook. They jump on and off, briefly getting information, but I have heard both of them express that, “Facebook can be a big time-waster.”

What the researchers found was that Facebook is “simply not cool anymore.”

“What appears to be the most seminal moment in a young person’s decision to leave Facebook was surely that dreaded day your mum sends you a friend request,” wrote Daniel Miller, the lead anthropologist on the research team.

LOL. (yes, that was written ironically). I’m “friends” with my daughters, but they’re 22 and 24, so they’re in a completely different place than they were in their teens. Being connected to them on Facebook isn’t really staying in touch. It’s more of a quick look to see a photo or a post to know that they’re okay without texting or calling. But they can go days or weeks without posting, so even that isn’t much of a reliable “check-in.”

I’m one of those people who get anxious on Facebook. Should I reply to something? Have I not replied enough? Should I click “like”? Should I acknowledge this or that? My life is really boring compared to everyone else’s life. I’m a loser. I’m not doing enough __________. AGGHHGH. You can see where this could go, right?

One of the interesting findings from the European research was that because Facebook is public, the “information that people choose to publish…has generally been through a psychological filtering process…Most individuals try to present themselves online the way they think society is expecting them to…”

What do you think of Facebook? How do you use it? Or not use it? And do you ever click on those ads that pop up based on the information that is being collected about you online? I would rather have the NSA collecting my phone numbers than marketing companies collecting everything I do online so I can be bombarded with ads and emails that I don’t want. What about THAT, Google? And what about the new video ads? Here’s some info you might need to know about those.

Categories: Editor’s Blog