Why Andrew Watts and other 19 year olds don’t yet realise the value of Facebook.

I read with great interest the article written by Andrew Watts; A Teenager’s View on Social Media that went viral earlier this year, and the comments that industry experts waded in with.

This post is in no way a dig at Andrew but I wanted to point out why in his article, Andrew suggested that “It’s dead to us” (us: his age group) and why he thinks this NOW! is because he/they aren't ready for Facebook Yet!

Before I continue with my own observations here, I do want to point out that Andrew makes some great points about the usage and functionality of Facebook in that the groups area and messaging are great sub-components of the platform and the main area where everyone hangs out “the timeline” sucks! I have recently (March 2015 — Present) been on a Facebook holiday, having removed it from my phone and ipad.

Why? Because it was making me depressed, I had friended some people and joined some groups and it started to dominate my facebook experience by bombarding me with “get rich quick schemes” and other such annoyance. Couple that with a few of my friends and family posting how bad their life currently was I started to think “I aint got time for this crap”.

They say you are the sum of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. Well if I spend the bulk of my time with these people because I check my Facebook feed every 5 minutes, then I must be becoming a miserable snake oil salesman.

Anyway, back in January 2014 I was asked by Sport Wales to do a talk for the Welsh gymnasts who were going to the Commonwealth Games. My talk was on the subject of Social Media Dangers and how they should be aware of not only the attention they would now get but the consequences of anything they may post or reply-to.

I took this as a great opportunity to ask those in the room — teenagers between 14 and 21 what social media platforms they were using….

How many of you use Facebook? I asked… about 30% of the room raised their hand.

How many of you use Twitter? I asked… 100% of the room raised their hand.

I thought..hmmm this is interesting

So tell me WHY do you prefer to use Twitter over Facebook ....

I was not expecting the reply they gave me..

They all Said:

Because my parents are now on Facebook.

Wow! Funny but very interesting.

Now this brings me back to my original observation about Andrew and other 19 year olds who feel Facebook is “dead to them”

Andrew and others in his age group are not yet ready to appreciate the value of Facebook. Why do they need to get excited by the fact that they can stay in contact with old school friends when they are still in school WITH those school friends.

At that age, hanging out with mum and dad is a bit “cringey” and sad!

Wait until you get to 30 or 40 and realise that mum and dad wont be around forever, like you think they will when your young and you don’t see them as often as you would like.

Wait until your 30 or 40 and realise that those people you spent almost every day of your young life with, sharing experiences and growing up together with are no longer around you! They have grown up, have families, careers and…. new friends.

Facebook (and as of right now only Facebook) gives you (me) the social platform to appreciate and connect with family and old school friends in a way that keeps you connected.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are downsides and frustrations as I have mentioned above, to all of this, but the real value is still there and I am going to come back from Facebook holiday next week to have a good catchup and re-engage (along with clean up) with my Facebook Network

Facebook isn’t dead to me.