And now the the flip side…teens opting out of social media

September 5, 2016

Having just reflected on the pitfalls of screen addiction, it was refreshing to come across the following article in The Wall Street Journal, written by Christine Rosen, entitled Teens Who Say No to Social Media.Who’d have thought? Yes, apparently there a small number of teens out there (only 8% actually) who would rather talk to their friends than follow what they have been doing on Instagram or Facebook.

The article follows the story of a 14 year old boy, Brian O’Neill who has opted to live primarily outside the ‘networked world’.  This is not to say he’s not as tech savvy as his peers, just that he prefers to use his phone to text or email friends, then catch up face to face. (What a ground breaking idea).  Brian states that if something important happens in his social circle he’ll hear about it anyway. Anything he doesn’t hear about is basically deemed unimportant, regardless of who or how many people ‘liked’ it.

The author also points to some interesting studies around social media and peer pressure. While in itself peer pressure is nothing new, it “is the speed with which peers can comment on each other’s lives, as well as the assumption that they should.  (Kids) are constantly being judged. Their self-worth is constantly measured by other people’s response to every single thing they put online.”

When asked to sum up his thoughts on the social media, Brian says “There’s nothing really new or creative on it. In 10 years, the social media craze will be pretty much gone. Everyone will find a different way to waste their time.”

On that note…we are so looking forward to the next ten years. Our necks deserve a break from all that ‘looking down’…literally and figuratively.