The social media landscape has changed considerably in the past decade. One of the best indicators of this transformation can be found in the habits of teens, widely considered the tastemaker demographic regarding what apps and sites people are currently using online.
According to recent findings by the Pew Research Center, wildly popular short-form video platform TikTok has surged in popularity among teens in recent years. And at the same time, this demographic is also leaving social mainstay Facebook in droves.
The Pew report, which analyzed the online habits of Americans between the ages of 13 to 17, found that YouTube and TikTok are the preferred social platforms, with 95 percent of teens claiming they use the former and 67 percent claiming they use the latter. Instagram (62 percent) and Snapchat (59 percent) were close behind.
|Percentage of U.S. teens who said they use the following apps or sites (2014 vs. 2022).|
Meanwhile, the share of teens who said they use Facebook currently stands at only 32 percent, which is less than half the percentage (71 percent) that same demographic claimed to use the platform during a similar Pew survey in 2014.
Teens’ use of Twitter (23 percent), Twitch (20 percent), WhatsApp (17 percent), Reddit (14 percent) and Tumbler (5 percent) were also down.
More than a third (35 percent) of teens said they’re using at least one of the social media platforms listed in the survey “almost constantly.” Specifically, 19 percent claimed they use YouTube almost constantly, while 16 percent reported using TikTok almost constantly.
According to the survey, teen boys are more likely than girls to frequent YouTube, Twitch and Reddit, while teen girls are more likely than boys to use TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat.
Nearly all (97 percent) of the teens surveyed said they use the Internet every day, compared to 92 percent who said the same eight years ago. A majority (55 percent) believe they spend about the right amount of time on social media sites, while slightly more than a third (36 percent) think they spend too much time visiting apps and sites.
Findings in Pew’s “Teens, Social Media and Technology 2022” report were based on a web survey of more than 1,300 U.S. residents between the ages of 13 and 17. Surveys were conducted between April and May.
Oct. 3, 2022, by Joe Honick
Reading the analyses of the various studies of teenagers (13-17) would seem to indicate they pretty much are acting like...well Teenagers! And marketers had best catch them while they are riding one trend or another for as long a they do. The idea that a social program is the cause of the increased mental health problems is certainly of interest, but the discussion here did not include, among other things, the reasonable assumption that many of those so afflicted may well have been suffering already and not tended to by parents, teachers or anyone else or may just have been inclined to susceptibility.
No age is more tempting to scammers, manipulators or other "users" than teenagers struggling to figure out their lives. Some years ago, in these pages, I noted similar lack of attention to the mental health of very young men and women returning from questionable combat situations. Between those youngsters and the teen agers cited here, society's uncaring attitudes until serious problems manifested themselves also need to be examined.