Gone are the days when teenagers could not live without Facebook. Facebook has dominated the social media platform for years. It was used not only to connect with friends, but also to promote or start business and create meetup groups. However, teenagers–who get bored quickly–find visually stimulating apps such as Instagram and Snapchat more appealing and useful than Facebook. A survey proves Facebook’s popularity has dropped significantly among the age group of 13 to 17. According to the survey published by the Pew Research Center, the U.S.-based think tank, about 51% teenagers spend more time on YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat than Facebook.
In 2015, the Pew Research Center had conducted the similar survey, which clearly showed the dominance of Facebook over Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and other social media platforms. However, in last three years, the technology for youngers is evolved drastically. The 2018 survey highlights how smartphone ownership has become indivisible part of a teen’s life. 95% of the participants had smartphones or at least access to one, which fueled online activities. In addition, about 45% people are just seconds or two-seconds away from their smartphones. In last three years, plenty has changed. For instant, three years ago, about 71% participants preferred Facebook more than any other social media app or platform. However, in 2018, only 51% people use Facebook and prefer other alternatives including YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat: about 85% use YouTube, more than 71% use Instagram, and about 69% use Snapchat.
The most astonishing part of the survey is that teens tend to use similar social media platforms regardless of their demographic characteristic. However, the trend has changed in the past few years. Users with lower income most likely get attracted to Facebook than the users with higher income families. If you look statistically, seven-in-ten teenagers living in a household grossing less than $30,000 tend to use Facebook and those with family income more than $75,000 prefer other platforms. Furthermore, the survey analyzed how teenagers think about the effects of constant use of social media has on their lives. Although there was no clear consensus among the youths, their reactions were dumbfounding. Around 40% teens think that social media has helped to keep in touch with their friends and family and keep them posted about the current affairs. A girl of age 14 said, “I think social media have a positive effect because it lets you talk to family members far away.” Moreover, 5% believe that it helps them fight loneliness and keeps entertained.
A boy of age 13 stated, “[Social media] gives people a bigger audience to speak and teach hate and belittle each other.” However, a boy of age 15 believed that it has negative impact on our lives as people can speak about anything anonymously. The most drastic opinion was of a 14-year-old girl that believed that teens are killing people because of the disturbing things they watch on social media or things that happen on social media. The think tank conducted the survey by polling the opinions of about 743 teenagers in March and April of this year and gave rough idea about how youngsters think about the use of social media and how important it is for them. Therefore, if Facebook still wants to king of social networking, it should raise its game to attract more youngsters.