There is no denying that social media is a big part of our life as a family. Okay, admittedly I am the biggest user of it, possibly on a scale completely incomprehensible by friends and family who don’t have Twitter or Facebook accounts, let alone blogs. For my close family though it is just a way of life now and they are quite used to getting texts from friends saying “what has your mum just tweeted a picture of?” or scrolling through Twitter to find out where I am when they wake up to find the house empty.
Which is why I was really interested in an article I saw the lovely Penny Carr share recently entitled “A Teenager’s View of Social Media” . The teenager in question an American. I thought it might be quite interesting to quiz my two teenagers and ask them what their views are on the various social media channels. Jonnie is 19 and working and Ellie is 16 and at school.
Jonnie. Where women approaching middle age go to convince themselves they are not old by spend their days posting selfies. And for parents stalking their kids. It also seems to be where adults spend all day complaining about everything. Thinking FB is where you can moan, like having a cofffee morning with friends and not realising that most of the time nobody else cares. I use it though as it is where I find friend’s phone numbers.
Ellie. What Jonnie said. It’s pointless. On it because I made an account in 2008 and don’t really know why I haven’t left. I only use it for planning events and sharing privately, not publicly.
Jonnie I don’t use it as I have a BlackBerry. Have an account though but never use it. Where people go to brag. Or post ridiculous amounts of selfies because they just trying to fish for compliments. It’s twitter for people who can’t spell.
Ellie Yep just a place for girls to get their cleavage out to get guys to like them. I am on there but don’t use it that much.
Jonnie. Dont really use it much but read more than I post. Used to have an account with 30,000 followers but got bored of it so deleted it. Makes me laugh when people who are new tweet Harry Styles expecting a response and then get huffy when they don’t get one.
Ellie Not on it anymore, I deleted my account because I got sick of seeing teenage girls trying to get people’s attention and the passive aggressive stuff sub-tweeting.
Jonnie. Don’t use it. Got an account though. It’s just for people to send naked photos.
Ellie. Same as Instagram, place for teenage girls to get their boobs out. Though I do use it to talk to my sister who shares pictures of her cute cat. Won’t leave it though as all friends are on it and I like to stalk my friends.
At this point I asked Jonnie why he was on all these channels but didn’t use them. He said he was there as he had registered his name so that nobody could else could nab it. I think he learnt that from me since I registered all three of my children a Hotmail email account when they were about two.
Jonnie also thinks that if any of them take off and are the next big thing he wants to make sure he has his name.
Jonnie. Dont use it, but it seems to be a place for 18 year olds socially awkward people who are trying to be edgy by saying “I don’t see myself as male or female but more as a leprauchan” to post stuff.
Ellie. Twitter for people who can’t read
Jonnie laughs “that sums it up”
Jonnie Never heard of it
Ellie. Load of crap. Just used to anonymously bully poeople within ten miles
Jonnie Don’t really use it, have never posted anything, nor do I subscribe to anybody’s feeds but I use it to watch videos.
Ellie It’s a great way to stalk peoples lives. I do use it as a search engine. If it wasn’t for YouTube I would have failed my latest physics exam on the electro magnetic spectrum.
I asked Jonnie and Ellie if they were envious of the “YouTube sensations” and thought their stardom madness, their response was “Fair enough if earning money. Not jealous at all”.
Neither of us have heard of it
Jonnie don’t use it, but like the others I have an account.
Ellie dont use it, have an account It really is just for people looking for a job
Jonnie don’t use it but have an account
Ellie I love it. Use it for curing boredom mostly.
Jonnie Used by people too perverted to give out their phone number on whatsapp so they make a fake account to masquarade as 15 year old girls.
Ellie. If anybody asks what your kik is they are a peadophile Exactly what Jonnie said
Jonnie Not on it
Ellie On it but don’t use it as it is only used by Janoskians. (Ed note: The Janoskians are a YouTube comedy group originally from Melbourne, Australia, who are now based in Los Angeles)
Jonnie Don’t use it, it died, nobody really uses it.
Ellie Don’t use it
Jonnie Free texts basically. Use it more than any other channel and have sent over 150,000 messages in a year, 65,000 of those messages to just 6 people.
Ellie I use it to send pictures to people who don’t have imessage.
Unanimously: “So old hat”.
“Load of crap”
I found this fascinating as I thought they would both be more active on the mainstream social media channels rather than things like Whatsapp. It looks like communicating with friends one on one is much more popular than sharing information publicly or with strangers, as is the case on Twitter for instance.
What do you think? Do you agree? Is this indicative of how teens really use social media in your experience? The media would have us believe that all teens are addicted to all channels but from where I am sitting that simply isn’t true, which has surprised me.