Facebook fading in popularity for teens - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Facebook fading in popularity for teens

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Chances are you checked your Facebook page at some point today, but your teenaged son or daughter likely has not. Chances are you checked your Facebook page at some point today, but your teenaged son or daughter likely has not.
Clara Harper Clara Harper
Jeff Rushton Jeff Rushton

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Chances are you checked your Facebook page at some point today, but your teenaged son or daughter likely has not. They're just not on Facebook like they used to be.

That's what teenager Clara Harper told WAVE 3 News Anchor Shannon Cogan.

"As parents and grandparents were getting on Facebook it made kids not want to be on so much so they went to other places," Harper said.

Jeff Rushton is the Director of Digital Media at the University of Louisville. He has been studying social media since the mid-90's. He said 94 percent of kids still have a Facebook account, but they're not into it.

"Adults are staying on Facebook. They haven't found their old boyfriends or girlfriends yet," Rushton said, "Whereas kids find them very quickly and it loses its luster and they kind of go away."

He said much of it has to do with the way Facebook looks.

"Instagram, Vine, even Twitter, they look so much better than Facebook," Rushton said. "They're sexy.  They're cool."

Rushton said kids like the flash and fewer words. He said about 30 percent of teens are on Twitter, which has a 140 character limit, many go to Instagram, where you don't need any words and Snapchat is also gaining in popularity.   

"Snapchat where people are taking pictures of themselves then goes away 12 seconds after friends see it," Rushton said.

Social networks don't stay "in" for long. Rushton said the average attraction is only six years.  Facebook has lasted a lot longer because so many people are on it. So what's hot now might not be tomorrow.

"It will be interesting to see if they stay there," Rushton said. "That hasn't been proven yet."

It's a good idea to follow your kids on social media, but have conversations in person about what's taking place. When you're online, be cool.

"Part of it is learning not to be a big dork when you're checking your kids stuff on instagram and twitter and facebook," said Clara's dad Michael Harper. "When grandparents comment on every single picture as if that's a cool thing to do that's what sends kids away. So if you just give them space and just observe it works out."

Rushton said another piece of advice is to Google your child's name once a week. Because everything that's out there with your child's name will pop up.

Copyright 2013 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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