I have never been a huge fan of broadcasting my private life on social media, and sometimes seeing the way people do so can be quite depressing. In some ways, I was concerned as to where the next generation would end up, constantly living in the public sphere like this.
But I am glad to be reading that the youth of today have greatly opted out of using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and so on.
Teens don’t want to be on platforms that their parents and teachers are using, and therefore can see and comment on their lives (how embarrassing!). Instead, these young people are using ‘narrowcast’ tools where posts are transient not permanent, and are only seen by close friends. Snapchat is incredibly popular, and I have had a play around with my 12 year old sister leading the way. Take a photo of yourself, and use a multitude of different filters to add something funny. You can swap your faces, get really fat, or vomit out rainbows. Filters have themes based on current events (like movies and tv shows, as well as particular days – you can be a leprechaun for St Patrick’s day for example). It was actually a lot of fun playing around with some goofy images of yourself and sharing only with a few select people.
For a hilarious account of ‘How to Snapchat Like the Teens’ check out this Buzzfeed article.
Good on them I say, I’m glad the next generation are clever enough to recognise their online privacy is important. It’s a lot more about being in the moment and not projecting a perfect persona, and I like that, despite the amount of time that could be spent doing more productive things! I might never be obsessed with social media myself, and I’m glad to see the rest of the world isn’t going to turn into a group of self-obsessed people posting every mundane second of their lives, instead of simply living.
Interestingly, it does seem that even those who do use Facebook are using it less to share personal and private parts of their lives, and more for sharing news stories and events. That is a shift I have noticed and I must say I do enjoy being directed to interesting articles from people I know. I much prefer to read about science, technology, literature or news than seeing photos of people’s dinners.
So, how do you use ‘social’ media?