Is Facebook losing it’s cool?   Are the demographics of social media changing? Is this because Grandma is online now? Grandma is on Facebook and wants to be your friend and at the same time teens don’t want to friend their own parents.  It’s not cool when Mom or Dad tags you in an embarrassing photo. Teens want to have some space where they can do or say something that is not constantly being watched. (or so they think) Teens are flocking to Instagram, Twitter , Foursquare and Snapchat.



Danah Boyd’s book, “It’s Complicated- Social Lives of  Networked Teens” is being released today. (Danah Boyd Social Media Researcher)


This book captures what teenagers  are doing online – And why. Her insights give perspective for parenting and teaching on teenagers. Teens are using social media to talk to each other. Adults don’t understand that the smartphone is a place for them to escape to relax and have fun. Several profiles allow individuals to interact with different groups and allows them to present themselves in different context. Profiles taking out of context allows for others to mis-interrupt what teens are doing. As an example, a teenager may have several personas. A young man could say in a beautifully written college essay, how he would like to escape the area he is in, but then have a social profile on MySpace showing he is an active participant in gang related activities. You may think “Who is this?” However, Boyd points out is that this young man may be using that profile online for his own survival and safety in the physical world and his online profile should not misrepresent him. He may truly be a great kid who wants a better life.

social-media-jongeren young




5 thoughts on “LIKE DUH!”

  1. I’m old enough now that I couldn’t care less if there is a not so flattering photo shared by family on Facebook. All of us were 12 at some point and looked wretched. There are some things I don’t like about the changing demographics of social media, though. I’m not in that 16-18 year old demographic but there are times when I’m thinking that mom or dad or my friends’ parents posted things that aren’t ‘cool.’ The things that bother me usually have to do with them being in a different generation and commenting on things that I posted about but their comments don’t make sense. It’s like they don’t understand what I was saying and the comment just throws off the whole post. Another weird thing I have with social media is that I generally don’t like people to bring up specific things that I’ve posted in person. I don’t know why, but I just find it weird some times. Like the book title says, it’s complicated. But brands certainly need to keep up with the trends and know where and how to communicate with their audiences.

  2. Thanks for sharing your perspective! You’ve mentioned good points regarding context. Context is a major component of the book. Read “It’s Complicated,” and get the point of few of today’s teenager. Much needed if expanding into or revamping your social media strategy.

  3. Vicki, thank you for sharing this book! My co-workers and I have been discussing this topic recently — asking ourselves why it’s so hard to target teens with some of our social media campaigns. And well, I guess it’s complicated 😉 Looks like we’ll be reading this book soon…

    Also, it’s really interesting how generations are using social media platforms differently. I’m an avid Instagrammer and love uploading photos from road trips or cool restaurants I visit. But I’ve noticed teens are taking selfies and having entire conversations on there. I don’t get it lol. Back in my day, we had AOL messenger! I almost feel like they’re changing the whole purpose of Instagram. I’m on there to see beautiful photos from around the world, not 12-year-old duckfaced teens in their bedrooms. Anyway, enough complaining about kids these days. The graphics you shared were great! I’ll have to save them for later use…thanks for the post, Vicki!

    1. Thanks! If you are interested in the book, I suggest you check out Danah Boyd’s blog as well. Her link is in my blogroll. She’s a modern day anthropologist, a youth researcher & advocate. Danah is a senior researcher at Microsoft, an assistant professor at New York University and a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. As you can guess, she is widely respected figure in social media research!

  4. It is definitely important for marketers to understand how young consumers use different social media. If teens are turning to specific social sites and apps for more privacy, then we, as marketers, don’t want to invade their privacy (unlike mom and dad) and risk being resisted! Marketers can better understand how to communicate with teens on social media by understanding the types of people and groups they are interacting with on each platform.

    Thanks for the book as well! I will have to check it out soon!

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