Teens Prefer Facebook. Duh.


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This morning’s San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reported that teens prefer Facebook. And that they are spending less time blogging.

Now, my son Matthew is an excellent writer and also a heavy Facebook users. But emails, blogging or even Twitter are not popular with him or his peers. That’s why the stats collected by Pew Research Center last summer came as no big surprise.

I’ve been hearing for the past few years that MySpace was no longer cool with the kids. Maybe it still is with middle schoolers, but in high school, Facebook rules.

The drop off in blogging surprised me a little bit. In 2006 28% of teens (age 12-17) and young adults (18-29) blogged regularly. By mid 2009 that had dropped about half. One factor, says Pew, is that MySpace encourages members to blog while Facebook features short status updates.

Twitter is kind of an odd duck. One might think that youngsters would gravitate to the next big thing in social media. Especially when celebrities and artists are jumping on board. But, no. Only 8% of online teens say they’ve ever used Twitter. Instead, 2/3 send text messages.

Great, nobody writes letters anymore and soon, no more emails. Wait, maybe that’s a good thing. But one has to wonder what this means for the work world in the next few years.

My take: this is further evidence that social networking from companies like Jabber, Social Text etc. will become as common as email systems are today. Not because you’ll be able to prove the ROI, but because if you don’t offer it, you won’t be able to hire and retain young talent.

I do worry about “digital overload.” I stopping reading magazines a couple of years ago after buying and piling them up for months. Now I’m struggling to keep up with the “old” channels like email, the apparently aging channels like blogging and the new channels like Twitter. No time for Facebook, I have to find some time to eat and sleep, you know.

So is this what the future will bring? We communicate with everyone about nothing, and have no time to think and write more than 140 characters at a time?

Further reading:


  1. Bob: the cliche ’60’s teenager could tie up a household’s single telephone line for hours. A hapless second caller to the home received a “busy signal.” (would anyone under 20 recognize that sound, let alone understand why it occurred?)

    It’s telling to think that as recently as yesterday, my son asked me how to retrieve a voice message from our little-used landline phone. I can’t remember the last time he made a phone call. Mostly he uses Facebook and Skype to stay in touch with friends. At least today, if you or I want to talk on the phone, we don’t need to kick anyone else off the line. Ahhh. Technology!


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