With the rise of social media in today’s culture more and more people have decided to jump on the social media “bandwagon”. More and more people of all ages have now signed up for social media websites and it has become more uncommon not to be involved on social media than the opposite. When social media outlets like Facebook.com first got their start it was aimed for college age kids to use to connect with other kids of the same age. Now, as a twenty-one year old college student, I can’t think of any of my friends that aren’t “friends” with either their mom, aunt, or even their grandmother on Facebook. It seems as though I can’t post a photo, create a status, or even a “like” a page without my entire family knowing within hours. I can personally say that I have censored myself on Facebook much more than I would on other social media outlets such as Twitter and Instagram because my older relatives are watching.
Myself, and millions of other young adults around my age have begun to flock from Facebook to other, newer, cooler outlets like Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram to escape the constant connection with our older counterparts. In an article published by the Washington Post regarding the depletion of young adults from Facebook it states, “The social media service is highly popular among their Gen X and Baby Boomer parents — who, as Bustle’s Krystin Arneson writes, “came to keep an eye on their kids, but stayed when they discovered that connecting with other adults was fun”. This increase in older users on Facebook has driven away younger Facebook users and has even warded off younger users who are new to the social media world from even signing up.
Kids don’t want to be monitored by their parents and older relatives on social media. They want to be able to post and “like” whatever they want without feeling supervised. Users of student age, like myself, want to be able to post on their social media accounts without censoring themselves. Your mom is not going to like it when she sees a picture you are “tagged” in from the night before taking shots at the bar with your friends. It also won’t please mom and dad to see that their little girl can’t form a sentence without some the use of some profanity when communicating with her friends. Also, it always kills the humor in a joke when you post a witty Facebook status and your mom comments less than a minute later with the good old “LOL!”.
When looking at my own and many other people I know that are part of my age group it’s usually a night and day difference when you compare someone’s Facebook profile to their other forms of social media. For example, on someone my age’s Facebook profile you might see graduation photos, statuses posted about making the deans list at school, or any other life milestones…and then you look at their Twitter profile and you will see a big difference in the content of their posts. It can seem at times that you are living a virtual “double life”. Communication is much more laid back between people of the younger generation on social media sites where kids know they are not being constantly monitored by their parents. In the time I’ve taken to write this blog post I have already received a photo comment from my aunt, a status “like” from my mom, and a message from one of my former teachers.
As I get older and there is an increase of kids younger than myself that are signing up to use social media Facebook will continue to become less and less relevant unless it finds some way to appeal to younger users again. Time will only tell what the future of Facebook will look like. In the meantime, I will continue to keep my older family members updated with my life accomplishments on Facebook (keeping everything PG of course). My mother would be quite upset if I was not on Facebook to see all of the inspirational quotes and “life hacks” posts that she constantly shares.