Teens And Social Media: Conflicting Studies Drive GCAI To Source.

We are always talking to teens about social media. Our “Media and Marketing for Middle School” vocational mentoring program at the Zanetti School provides us with a treasure trove of feedback and information on emergent trends in social media – lead by a the highly mobile enabled teens of today.  Some of us get a lot of feedback at home too.  Recently, conflicting studies were release.  The first suggested that teens were turning away from Facebook and going to Twitter. This is a trend that GCAI has observed for several months.  The second suggested that relatively few teens had migrated over to Twitter.  Well, we went to the source and asked Quinn Garvey, a 15 year old whose iPhone 4s is blowing up every 5 seconds.  Here in her own words is what is going on and why:

The main reason I prefer to check Twitter and only occasionally keep up with my Facebook is because I believe that Facebook has become a lot to handle. Personally, I think there is too much happening on Facebook; from getting spammed or receiving  game requests to getting “poked” by people I don’t even know. I shifted to Twitter because there were less people, and I could really pick and choose who I wanted to follow. Also, it is much less personal than Facebook, you are not required to show people your birth date, or where you live. Facebook requires a lot of information, and has more bits and pieces you can involve yourself in. Which I believe has made it in a way, messy. There are pages to like or groups to join, and an app center which is supposed to provide you with more games and entertainment. But by Facebook trying to better itself and add new features, it has just gotten more confusing. When the switch from Myspace to Facebook happened, it was because Facebook was simpler to use and was over all much sleeker. Now, Twitter is seeming to be simpler to use, and an easier alternative. You can really customize what you see on your twitter, by following people that share your interests. It’s much more laid back than Facebook, where it is just expected you add everyone you know, whether you actually want to hear what they have to say or not. Teenagers like to talk about themselves, and twitter is an easy way to do that. In helps them stay “in the loop” by knowing what everyone else is doing. Overall Facebook is proving to be more complicated, and Twitter is getting to be the more refined version of Facebook.

– Quinn Fiona Garvey


Studies on Teens and Social Media Use:

What If Teens Prefer Twitter to Facebook? http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/teens-prefer-twitter-facebook/235934/

Teens Viewpoint on Digital Lives http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/179287/teens-viewpoint-on-digital-lives.html