I’m 13 and none of my friends use Facebook…

This was the headline in the SMH this week.

I was curious to read the article, because as I have primary school-age children, the subject of social media usage is regularly discussed among parents. In fact the kid’s school even had an expert on child psychology and technology, address the parents recently. We’re certainly in for a wild ride.

It was interesting to read that the 13 year old has no interest in Facebook, because it’s not something her generation is using. They prefer Instagram and Snapchat. And I’m not surprised. Social media is fashionable and fashions come and go.

And once parents start using the same social sites as their kids, the kids will abandon the site faster than they can send a text message – PLOS*. This is one of the reasons Billabong lost its mojo – middle-aged dads started wearing the same brands as their teenage kids. Sick hey? Not! (about as cool as dad saying ‘sick hey’)

I suspect that when my kids are young teenagers they will view that antiquated social site called Facebook as “dad’s technology” and have no interest in it. A bit like the way they look at my vinyl and CD collection.

record-collection

The problem for parents like me is that the social sites in which our kids will be involved, have yet to be invented. We’ll have to learn about them on the fly if we want to know what our kids are up to.

I have to admit, while I help clients and my business with social media strategies, including FB pages, I rarely look at my FB account. This blog gets automatically posted to a FB page and apart from occasionally checking if people have commented on it, I spend little time on FB.

I recently asked a group of friends aged 30 to 55 if they were on FB and more than half don’t have an account, even though their kids do. They have their social networks which they address via phone, text and face-to-face. They are also time-poor because they have kids and most of their social habits were cemented with age. So they just aren’t interested in FB and don’t believe they are missing out.

Certainly they are still alive and none have lost their jobs or friends as a result of not using FB. I also know lots of people who are addicted to FB, spending loads of their life posting and time-wasting. And that’s fine if that’s what you like to do. Other friends from foreign lands who reside here, find it extremely helpful for keeping in touch with family back in the old country.

The point is, the sun will come up in the east and set in the west regardless of social media sites. And just as most choices we make in life differ among individuals, so our use of social media sites will vary. After all, today’s Facebook is tomorrow’s Second Life.

Today's Facebook is tomorrow's Second Life
Today’s Facebook is tomorrow’s Second Life

That reminds me, I need to update my profile on ‘Facebook with a Necktie’ – that’s LinkedIn, in case you haven’t heard the latest buzzword:)

LinkedIn - Facebook with a neck tie
LinkedIn – Facebook with a neck tie

* Parents Looking Over Shoulder

4 Comments

  1. An interesting read. FB has changed significantly in the last 1-2 years. I am a regular user (and have been for over a decade) but find the news feed containing more and more irrelevant junk which de-motivates me to use it. Having said that, I still find it a fascinating source of trivial information about people I love.
    Teenagers do not want their parents to see into their life at that point so I can see this is going to impact the emerging generation as more and more of our generation pick up the technology. And you are right, it is brilliant for connecting with loved ones living in disparate lands …

  2. Am sure the smaller the network of ‘friends/family’ the more people appreciate the trivia. Unfortunately my FB has all sorts of ‘contacts’ not just friends/family – and the minutia of their lives is a complete bore.

  3. Second Life! OMG! I left him sitting there, all alone, with a beard by the side of a lake. So many years ago. He’ll be bored to death by now. As many were in their second life.
    Grand read Malcolm.

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