As parents, we are often concerned about what our young social media connoisseurs are watching and doing on a daily basis. According to a Pew survey conducted during 2014 and 2015, 94% of teens go online to utilize social media in some form or another.
With such a large amount of youth participating in social media, it becomes a major task to compete for their time and attention. If struggling to maintain your teens focus is backbreaking work for you, then imagine how difficult it might be for the social media sites that are currently stealing their time away.
Social media competition to get your teenager’s attention is real
It comes as no surprise that technology advances on a daily basis. As such, the interest of teens and what they expect from technology advances at a rapid pace. Just a few years ago, teenagers were excited about using social media to stay connected with their friends. Well, this just isn’t enough for them today.
If a social media platform can’t allow the sharing of photos, videos, and stories to groups of people within an instant, then the platform won’t last long within the teen world. This is the reason that most platforms that cater to teens are ripping their hair out (or rather, their cords out) when it comes to keeping up with teen interest—especially given the fact that teen interests change like the wind.
Teens hate what their parents like
If you like something, you can best believe that it will not be something that your teen will be interested in for long. Teenagers who once loved Facebook, for example, are now leaving the platform because they are discovering that this is the platform most utilized by their parents.
“My mom loves Facebook and actually wanted to be my ‘friend’ for God’s sake,” one Facebook teen stated when asked about her reasons for leaving the platform. “Everyone knows that if your parents are on Facebook then they will more than likely try and use it to spy on you and your friends. Plus, if your parents like a social media site then it’s probably lame.”
The numbers don’t lie
The Pew Research Center did a recent study that confirms a trend that is actually seen in other surveys. The landscape has shifted since 2014-2015 which once showed Facebook leading other social media networks among teens at around 71%.
Currently, only 51% of US teens ages 13-17 use Facebook when compared with over 85% for YouTube, 72% for Instagram and 69% of teens on Snapchat. According to eMarketer, Facebook will lose two million US users under the age of 24 in 2018, offsetting those losses with gains among older users.
Just keep it real
It’s always good to know the interests of your teens— even though it isn’t always so easy to keep up with the rapid changing of those interests. If you are truly interested in what your teenagers are sharing within the social media setting, you might want to ask them personally. Explain your concern, if you have any, and then see just how much they will share with you.
Have a discussion about social media platforms, what’s appropriate, and what can be considered as cyber-bullying. These conversations can spare you the uphill battle of attempting to “spy” through social media on your teen—if that’s ever something you have attempted. Save yourself the headache of trying to keep up with their ability to find new platforms in which to share, be heard, and be seen. Just keep it real and maybe, just maybe, they will keep it real with you in return.