Facebook teens are increasingly abandoning the popular service, and one of the top reasons cited is probably something you’d expect — because all of their moms and dads are on there.
Facebook teens nowadays have to contend with an omnipresent gaggle of relatives with whom they are under familial obligation to at least “friend” on the service. And while Facebook is fantastic at keeping people in touch, the service also has a tendency to take the information you least want revealed and accidentally present it to others at the most inopportune time — so efficiently, in fact, it’s almost like a feature of the service.
Facebook teens have grown up with the service as well, creating less of a shiny luster than that perceived by later-adopting of Facebook adults. And the barrier to switch can be far lower for teenagers, who may not necessarily have all that much difficulty porting their contacts across networks due to the fact they’ve yet to acquire pals from college, post-grad school, workplaces and the like.
Facebook teens aren’t just mad their mom is embarrassing them on the service — they’ve also grown weary of the less popular aspects of its structure. A recent article about Facebook teens abandoning ship quotes one older user as saying his teen sister finds the propensity for Facebook chat users to grab you every time you log in, for instance, to be disincentive to do so:
When you go on Facebook Chat the people you don’t want to talk to are always the ones who immediately chat with you.
Can I get an amen? In a SF Gate article about the Facebook teen issue, the paper quotes a recent Facebook report (out of the social network itself) indicating they’re aware of the issue — and admitting that teens are growing ever entranced by services like Instagram:
We believe that some of our users, particularly our younger users, are aware of and actively engaging with other products and services similar to, or as a substitute for, Facebook. For example, we believe that some of our users have reduced their engagement with Facebook in favor of increased engagement with other products and services such as Instagram. In the event that our users increasingly engage with other products and services, we may experience a decline in user engagement and our business could be harmed.
So are Facebook teens getting bored because of the mom factor, or because of the chat factor? Laura Portwood-Stacer, author of “Media Refusal and Conspicuous Non-Consumption: The Performative and Political Dimensions of Facebook Abstention,” told The Verge:
“I think it has less to do with kids consciously looking for ‘the next big thing’ than Facebook just no longer being a space that serves them … I think kids are less self-conscious about trying to be cool than marketers would like to think.”
Whether Facebook teens will re-embrace the service remains to be seen — but the die could be cast for Facebook to become a more mature space generally embraced by a slightly older demographic than it originally targeted.