Technology

Older Teens, 16-18, Flee Facebook Because Parents Join

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Older teenagers, 16-18, are fleeing Facebook because their beloved parents are on the social media site, according to a new European Union (EU) study.

The teens are now flocking to Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and WhatsApp to escape their elders, says the Global Social Media Impact study, which includes nine ongoing 15-month studies in eight countries in the EU.

"Mostly [the teens] feel embarrassed even to be associated with [Facebook]," Daniel Miller, the head of the research team, wrote on the academic news website The Conversation.

"Where once parents worried about their children joining Facebook, the children now say it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives," added Miller, who is also a professor of Material Culture at University College London. "Parents have worked out how to use the site and see it as a way for the family to remain connected. In response, the young are moving on to cooler things."

According to the study, close teen friends use Snapchat, while WhatsApp is mainly used for acquaintances and Twitter is used to communicate with larger groups of teens.

Earlier this month, Snapchat's CEO and Co-founder Evan Spiegel turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook, notes the International Business Times, even though Snapchat was valued at $800 million just a few months ago.

For the uninitiated, Snapchat is a photo messaging app that sends pictures and videos that self-destruct after a few seconds. The app is especially popular for sending X-rated pictures. Snapchat reportedly processes over 400 million pictures per day.

"What appears to be the most seminal moment in a young person’s decision to leave Facebook was surely that dreaded day your mum sends you a friend request. You just can’t be young and free if you know your parents can access your every indiscretion," Miller noted. "Facebook is simply not cool anymore."

Sources: International Business Times and The Conversation

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