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Teens have “Waning Enthusiasm” for Facebook

Posted by JenThorpe at 8:28 PM on May 29, 2013

FacebookThe Pew Research Center released the results of a study called “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy” on May 21, 2013. One of the findings was that teens are becoming less interested in Facebook.

In focus groups, many teens expressed waning enthusiasm for Facebook. They dislike the increasing number of adults on the site, get annoyed when their Facebook friends share inane details, and are drained by the “drama” that they describe as happening frequently on the site. The stress of needing to manage their reputation on Facebook also contributes to the lack of enthusiasm. Nevertheless, the site is still where a large amount of socializing takes place, and teens feel they need to stay on Facebook in order to not miss out.

I find this interesting. The exact reason why I chose to quit Facebook (quite some time ago) was due to the “drama” that the users of the website seem to continually generate. It is also interesting to me that the teens who are tired of dealing with the drama of Facebook still feel as though they must continue to use the website (for fear of missing something important to their social lives and/or status).

The study also found that 60% of teen Facebook users keep their profiles private, and most report high levels of confidence in their ability to manage their settings. Most of the teens who use Facebook are choosing private settings that allow only approved friends to view the content that they post.

More than half (56%) of teen Facebook users say it’s “not difficult at all” to manage privacy controls on their Facebook profile, while one in three (33%) say it’s “not too difficult”. Just 8% of teen Facebook users say that managing their privacy controls is “somewhat difficult”, while less than 1% describe the process as “very difficult”.

The Pew Study found that many middle school and high school students believe that Facebook would not, or should not, share their information. Only 9% of teens in the study said they were “very” concerned about third-party access to their data.

It also appears that while teens are becoming less enthused about Facebook they are becoming more interested in Twitter. Teen Twitter use has grown significantly. 24% of online teens use Twitter, up from 16% in 2011.