My 21yo perspective – How Teens Are Really Using Facebook: It’s a ‘Social Burden,’ Pew Study Finds

Written by Mambo Intern Estefania Degregori (age 21)

Everybody knows Facebook. In fact, it has become so basic for people to have an account that a person is literally shocked to find out somebody is not on Facebook. But what you think of as a necessity when you’re young, is often no longer relevant to you as an adult.

Based on a new Pew study with commentary provided by the Huffington Post “How Teens Are Really Using Facebook: It’s a ‘Social Burden,” teenagers claim to “hate” Facebook, and have begun to create other social media profiles. According to the article, teenagers have begun using other networking sites more frequently because they “forget” about Facebook.

As a 21 year old who’s been on Facebook for a number of years, it is of no surprise that teenagers are getting bored of Facebook and are shifting their attention to other social media sites such as Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter. Like many of my friends, I made a Facebook profile my freshman year of high school. It included more features than IM because now you could see posts by other people without having to chat with them directly, and had a better layout than MySpace. So, naturally just like mentioned in the article, everybody quickly became Facebook obsessed. However, as I grew older this addiction has diminished.

One of the factors contributing to Facebook’s popularity decline is the growing popularity of text messaging. When I was younger, I remember liking MySpace and later Facebook because it allowed me to talk with my friends without having to be on the phone. But now with the popularity of Apple’s iMessaging, a young kid can instant message their friends without even having a phone. For example, 8 and 10 year olds I babysit use their iTouch to instant message their friends from the moment they leave school, to the moment they get in bed.

Even without the need to use Facebook as a way to communicate instantly with friends, I think one of the reasons why young teenagers like Facebook so much at first is because they have not been exposed to any other social media sites. I know that at the time I started my Facebook profile, I liked it as much as much as I did because I was subconsciously limited to it. Twitter and Tumbr were not popular yet, and Instagram did not even exist at the time. As soon as I had the option to explore other sites, I was also free to possibly find a site that fit my personal interests better.

Also, I think Tumblr, Instagram and Twitter have given everything a place. Twitter is for random thoughts that have replaced Facebook Status updates. Plus, Twitter’s character limit keeps people from ranting and giving unnecessary details about their personal lives; something that is common on Facebook. Instagram is for pictures only, and Tumblr is a micro-blog that allows you to share pictures and follow people that post things that personally interest me, keeping me from having to deal with annoying overshares I no longer care about.

When you’re younger, you want everybody to like you, to know about you, and you think the opinions of all these people you do not even know are relevant and important. As I’ve grown older I have learned what people truly matter to me and as a result I have tightened my circle of friends. The issue for Facebook is not having teenagers joining, it’s keeping them interested as they grow older.

The Facebook generation is fed up with Facebook.

That’s according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center, which surveyed 802 teens between the ages of 12 and 17 last September to produce a 107-page report on their online habits.