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'Embarrassed' to use Facebook: Teens shift to other sites to 'unfriend' with parents

Published time: December 29, 2013 13:14
Reuters / Thomas Hodel

Reuters / Thomas Hodel

Older teenagers have turned their backs on Facebook, an EU-funded study has found. Young people are opting for alternative social networks like Twitter and WhatsApp, while the "worst people of all, their parents, continue to use the service."

Analyzing how 16-18 year-old teenagers from eight EU countries use Facebook, researchers came to the conclusion that youngsters are no hooked on Facebook any longer while their parents are. According to the head anthropologist on the research team, Daniel Miller, "mostly they feel embarrassed even to be associated with it."

"Where once parents worried about their children joining Facebook, the children now say it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives. Parents have worked out how to use the site and see it as a way for the family to remain connected. In response, the young are moving on to cooler things," Miller, who is also professor of Material Culture at University College London, explained in his article for the academic news website, The Conversation.

He said year 2013 marked the start of what looks likely to be "a sustained decline" of what had been "the most pervasive" of all social networking sites.

The Global Social Media Impact Study has found that former Facebook fans started using sites and apps like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp, even though they are lacking in functionality.

"Most of the school children in our survey recognised that in many ways, Facebook is technically better than Twitter or Instagram," Miller noted.

Facebook has lost its former appeal to teenagers for a different reason.

"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. You just can’t be young and free if you know your parents can access your every indiscretion,"
Miller explained, adding that "Facebook is simply not cool anymore."

According to researchers, close friends are connected to each other via Snapchat these days, while WhatsApp is mainly used to stay in touch with acquaintances, and Twitter to communicate with a wide range of persons. Facebook has meanwhile "evolved into a very different animal" - to become the link with older family members, including those who have left for university.

Comments (18)


漢陰陽 02.01.2014 09:35

teens are becoming even dumber with the advent of the twitter generation. At least in facebook you had to know how to survive.


Lillian Freeman Stevenson 31.12.2013 02:16

I agree about the teens not being on facebook


Rich Kretzschmar 30.12.2013 17:21

Logic suggests that parents the teens like their privacy unmonitored and therefore they feel they will avoid "parental lectures". Facebook remains cool as well as a foundation resource for file share, family security, and the unity that a united community requires. These so called other creative options offer no more that a way to text a string of one liners and a self absorbed ego selfie. There are exceptions of course but the need exists for all individuals to take root in the den and type their communications and or script their videos in a way that utilized the editing process of refinement.

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