How Social Media Is Changing In A Generational Way David Dean

Instagram controversy, annoying soapbox Facebook posts and constant promotional links on Twitter, what does all this mean to you? I recently asked my 14-year-old niece if she saw the link I posted on her Facebook page, to which she said, “You still get on Facebook?” This is coming from someone who was on Facebook daily not just months before. “All my friends just use Instagram now, obviously,” she said. I’m surprised she didn’t throw a “duh” in there.

This got me thinking about social media in general and I noticed, I, myself have not been using Facebook as much, mostly just checking Twitter. A few other thoughts came to mind that I hadn’t really noticed until this “duh” moment. I noticed Instagram is booming with a younger generation taking photos on the constant and hash tagging like an #addict. I then looked at my Twitter feed over the past few months and me being someone who mostly uses Twitter to follow my favorite comedians, I also follow many publications and other random things that I feel will direct me to interesting content. But over 50%, at least, of what I saw was promotional: “Come see my show this Friday night”, “My album just dropped, buy it here”, “I was just interviewed by (insert magazine) read it here”, “New episode of (insert show) tonight at 10EST”, and of course the actual Twitter promoted tweet. It’s a constant stream of links. (Having said that, please link this article on all social media thanks!) The 140 characters are more and more being used by a younger generation and comedians, while the rest is just “Click this link!”

And the older generation is for the most part staying away from Twitter completely. But the biggest complaint and trend I noticed is that younger people are becoming over Facebook. For reasons that they just can’t stand the rants of their friends, it’s become too opinionated, constant game and app requests, the privacy and account settings are too much to keep up with, and they see it becoming more and more of a business model than a people-connector model. However, those negatives are a positive to an older generation, who doesn’t notice the app and game requests, plays the games, or just simply gets on to read updates not at all being distracted by everything that is surrounding them.

I talked to some people from the ages of 22 up to 74, not random phone calls or emails, people I actual know or randomly talked to at a restaurant or on the street. All I asked for was an honest opinion on the role social media plays in their life, and why or why not they have stopped using certain platforms. What’s interesting is even in their answers, the way they talked, is spot on with their opinion of social media. The list starts with the eldest, and ends with the youngest. The themes of the answers reflect that pretty spot on.

____

Nadine Frisby

Age: 74

Occupation: Retired

On Facebook:

As a person who recognizes that I have a very addictive personality, along with being a very competitive person, if I would give into the desire of going to the casino every time I wanted to – and staying until I had lost every dollar in my purse, well I would have a very empty purse.

Therefore, I would not allow myself to go very often. But – since I have been able to ‘play’ the slots on Facebook, it has almost completely taken away the desire to spend ‘real’ money at the casino. I do not buy any chips – primarily just play whatever free game they offer.

On Twitter:

Don’t Twitter. Have no idea what that even is.

On Instagram:

Don’t know what that is either.

In Conclusion:

I check Facebook 8-10 times a day. I use it to keep up with friends, primarily, however, to play the games Facebook offers.

____

Scott Dean

Age: 60

Occupation: Regional Development Specialist

On Facebook:

I check Facebook 2-3 times per day. I use it to keep up w/friends and finding some pretty cool websites that people post.

On Twitter:

I never check Tweeter.

On Instagram:

I never check Instagram but enjoy when my granddaughter shows me pictures she’s taken.

In Conclusion:

I only use Facebook because I’m too lazy to put the other two on.

____

Karen Dean

Age: 59

Occupation: Mom and Grandmother

On Facebook:

I usually check Facebook one time a day, early morning, when I drink my coffee and plan my day. I use FB to keep up with family and friends. I love hearing about what they are thinking, seeing pictures of them. I have been able to get better acquainted with relatives that I didn’t know very well and would never have gotten to know without developing a friendship through FB.

On Twitter:

I only use twitter to hear about sports events and big news events. I will go weeks without looking at it, and usually have to get help even navigating it. I enjoy some of the spiritual tweets from faith based people or groups. I like The Virtual Abby, The White House and some political information, especially from President Obama. I think it is hard to understand some of the symbols and that can be frustrating.

On Instagram:

I hardly ever check Instagram. I don’t really like it. I get frustrated with some pictures; they occasionally seem a bit self-serving. Kind of like “look at ME”. Sorry, I am just not a big Instagram fan.

I perhaps would take a picture of my pets to share with others, but it is just to personal for me to share pictures and make comments on a regular basis.

In Conclusion:

Facebook is like my personal news station. Personal in that people I invite can share things and I can keep up with lots of things that they are experiencing.

In the beginning when I first started using FB I would check it several times a day. Now I spend from 3-5 minutes a day getting a little “news in brief” about people I know and care about. I quickly scan the posts and read what interests me.

____

Leanna Felix

Age: 52

Occupation: Retired

On Facebook:

I try to remember to get on Facebook once a day, primarily to keep up with family and friends.

On Twitter:

I don’t use Twitter.

On Instagram:

I don’t use Instagram.

In Conclusion:

I stopped using Facebook mostly because I got sick of the negative stuff and game crap. At first, people used it to catch up, keep people abreast of family/friend happenings and communicate positive funny things. I miss that.

____

Greg Spielberg

Age: 31

Occupation: Pops Ups & Media for Openhouse Gallery

On Facebook:

Not real into it anymore. They want to make money, not connect people.

On Twitter:

Great blog.

On Instagram:

Love it – great for sharing on a personal and professional level.

In Conclusion:

Instagram’s the only social medium that feels intimate.

____

Micah LeFbvre

Age: 26

Profession: Writer

On Facebook:

I don’t really know how to quantify the number of times I check Facebook–it’s just always a tab I have open in my browser. I’m not able to check it at work, though, so I generally spend awhile after work catching up on friends and groups I subscribe to.

I use Facebook for keeping up with family, friends, acquaintances and various activist/political/ideological group pages I like to keep tabs on. I find Facebook is a great way to keep tabs on the zeitgeist.

On Twitter:

I check Twitter at least a dozen times a day. I like to keep TweetDeck open in the background and check it now and then for new tweets.

I appreciate the way Twitter allows the instant dissemination of breaking news. By the time a news website can put up a headline it’ll already be trending and a discussion about the events will already be well under way. In addition to that, comedians have really found a great tool in Twitter. Being able to get a steady stream of little jokes from some of the funniest people in the world is a great way to liven up my day.

On Instagram:

I check Instagram zero times, and never use it.

In Conclusion:

I use Facebook the most, simply because the forum-style format of the group pages is easier to navigate and better facilitates discussion than Twitter. That and more people I know in real life use Facebook than Twitter or Instagram.

_____

Meredith Schneider

Age: 22

Profession: Writer, Photographer, Perpetual Intern

On Facebook:

How often do I get on Facebook? Any time I feel uncomfortable or awkward in a situation, I open it on my phone. So, 456 times a day. But I also use it for promoting my photography as well as keeping track of photos, keeping in touch with long distance friends, and sharing info about my internship and writing.

On Twitter:

I maybe check Twitter 7 times. But I read through it before I get out of bed each day to catch up on what I missed while asleep. It’s my favorite news source, and that’s a sincere statement. I also use it to share quirky things I think of and to read funny quotes. I need a source of laughter. I also find out most major news from it.

On Instagram:

I get on Instagram maybe three times. I use it to showcase photos and keep them for future vintage-y craft projects.

In Conclusion:

Facebook is my go-to, because I love keeping track of my photos digitally. It’s like a secure backup.

____

It will be interesting to see where all of this is after the Instagram mania dies down, and just how different things might become in 2013.

Image via ShutterStock

comments

Please help us maintain positive conversations by refraining from posting spam, advertisements, and links to other websites or blogs. we reserve the right to remove your comment if it does not adhere to these guidelines. thanks! post a comment.

  1. Tumblr.

  2. Ah! I love the checking FB ‘…Any time I feel uncomfortable or awkward in a situation, I open it on my phone. So, 456 times a day.” Spot on. I also use it to promote my art/photography.

  3. This is so great– love that the 74 year old is crazy into gaming and it’s helped tame her gambling addiction.

    I’m all about Twitter for news and updates and laughs. Then Instagram (and Tumblr, if we’re counting that.) Facebook has a place in my heart, but frankly, it’s too many people and it gives me anxiety.

  4. I want to delete Facebook, but my family insists I stay on. I LOVE Twitter, I use Tumblr religiously, and Instagram is basically for looking at my sister’s photos as well as certain celebs.

  5. I’m over Facebook, but I’m absolutely addicted to Twitter. I don’t trust IG since Facebook owns it.

HelloGiggles Podcast