One unusual Mashable article yesterday really sparked in me a new perspective. In case you haven’t seen it floating around on your social media feed, the article discusses social media use of 13-year-old-or-so users. I said it was unusual because the author herself is 13 years old. The article is, understandably, mostly her observations of social media use within her age group without any hard facts or numbers.
Shifting from comments on Mashable and Facebook, it seems that while many appreciate these insights, others seem to disregard the article for its “lack of understanding and proof.” I personally see a lot of egos hurt, from adults to even those only a few years older, merely because a 13-year-old had something to say on Mashable. But really, there’s no reason to attack or get personal with a young person just because she is voicing what she sees.
For one, even though her ovservations may seem narrow and based solely on her immediate friends, they actually coincide with a Pew study in May on the same subject. Among the many findings, the study group of 802 teens indeed suggested a “waning enthusiasm” for Facebook among teens . The reasons include some points raised in the article: the increasing number of adult users (read: parents) and the general “Facebook drama.” Similar to the article, the study cited Instagram and Twitter as more attractive platforms for teens.
(The article further said Facebook partly pushed young users away because it was “trying too hard” with constant format changes: This is something we can all agree on.)
But most of all, the article raises one ultimate realization for me: There’s not just us in the social media spotlight anymore. “Us” here, the Millennials (generally born in the late ’80s up to the first half of the ’90s) have been getting all the buzz now in the marketing and PR world, but there’s a whole new generation emerging as future consumers and social media users. Born in the second half of the ’90s into the 2000s, the dubbed Gen Z approaches social media at a slightly younger age and uses them differently, as suggested in the article. This is why we should take notice of these first-hand insights and gather more information from there. After all, if you are a Millennial PR student like me, the generation after us will be one we cater to once we enter the profession.
Agree or disagree, I welcome your thoughts!