This 19 year old (in the article below) is spot on and a rare voice in the sea of "social media experts" who try to tell us what young people do and want. They don't want long or boring, repetitive news stories, especially with the amount of negativity in our consciousness at present. They are more instant, more visual. They use IM, Messenger and Snapchat for contact, Instagram to show their best side, get that best shot and get the most authentic 'likes' and social approval. I see my friends posting 157 photos on Facebook from their child's birthday party, when in reality they could have had 1 nice one via Instagram. He's right; Facebook has become cluttered, and unless you know how to optimise your settings so that you get what you are interested in, you will just be bombarded with drivel and spam.
That aside, Facebook is still the most popular, it continues to evolve and incur love/hate emotions with it's users. I am no teenager, but my journey with Facebook has been like that of a romantic relationship. It was love at first sight; here was my chance to create a unique brand and community for free, and in real time. In the days before 'Pages' I ran my event business through my profile picture and within weeks, thousands of people were contacting me to be kept up to date and not miss a trick. Combined with guerilla marketing via street teams and gifts to fans, Facebook was crucial in our success. However of course there was and is a flip side. This was all new and it took trial and error to work out what was good to post, when to do it, who to target and how to minimise annoying my contacts.
When 'Pages' and 'Groups' were introduced I switched the business over and let all my "friends" know. Some left, some stayed, and my profile page became a mix of personal views and favoured links, with splashes of promotion for my weekend business and eventually my involvement in a community activism project. Naturally not all of my friends wanted to hear about the parties, and not all agreed with my views on the events of the day, so like many passionate people on social media, I found myself losing enjoyment of this incredible culture by holding back or not being myself and having the occasional heated discussion or awkward moment.
When the political activity died down, I returned to making Facebook about me and my life. I love Facebook because I have several groups of great friends who are passionate about certain subjects and we can share and discuss issues so easily. I love that it's a global photo album for families to keep up to date. I love that it inspires social change. Now I mainly use it for finding and messaging friends abroad and posting my interests. My experiences with Facebook have created many opportunities for me and helped me write more; many of my blog posts and articles started off as Facebook posts or tweets.
Whereas a lot of people are not themselves on social media, I made the decision not to follow, and come what may. With Facebook I feel it's very much "this is me, I am being honest" but I do see many who exaggerate or falsify their claims of happiness or wealth. I can't do that. That gets me into heated debates at times with racists and the like, more often with someone I am not connected to but they have seen me on a feed: again a love and hate thing there as it's great to get your content seen and appreciated by some but awful when misunderstood and hated by others.
I must admit I am more my real self on Twitter yet ironically I use a pseudonym. I can be more abrupt and my jokes less rated. With Facebook I have family and business contacts watching. On Twitter I hardly know any of my followers, we just appreciate each other's wit or stance.
Unlike the youth, Whatsapp is crucial for me, my peers and our day to day. As well as instant messaging, voice notes and image sharing with my partner, I have a few groups set up for daily contact with my best friends and business contacts around the world. When we cannot Skype, we leave links, voice or video notes and catch up later.
I do flirt with Instagram now and then, I appreciate it's authenticity in that I don't have to follow my followers. I enjoy the effects and possibilities with our images, but unlike our teenage friend I don't use it for messaging, just simple likes and observing. us oldies text and whatsapp :D
Facebook is often the jumping-off point for many people to try to find you online, simply because everyone around us has it. If I met you one time at some party, I’m not going to try to check Twitter or Instagram to find out who you are. Instead, many opt for the ease of Facebook and the powerful search functionality that gives you results of people who you actually have a chance of knowing