Despite High Usage Rates, Teens Feeling Facebook Burnout

Though usage of the social media network is at an all-time high, teens are feeling less and less enthusiastic about Facebook, according to new research released by the Pew Research Center.

After a survey conducted last September, the Pew Research Center has released a 107-page report detailing the online habits of 802 teens between the ages of 12 and 17. The report is significant for Facebook, because this particular demographic has fueled the company’s success and its rise to become the most frequently used social network in the world.

While overall usage of Facebook by teens who use social media is higher than ever, at 94%, and while the report finds that teens continue to view Facebook as a vital part of their social world, the Pew report authors also find that these same users are experiencing a “waning enthusiasm for Facebook.”

[quote style=”1″]“Honestly, Facebook at this point, I’m on it constantly but I hate it so much.” –Female Focus Group Participant (15 Years Old)[/quote]

Facebook has emerged as a “social burden” for teenaged users of the site, according to the report, which cites teens’ exhaustion with “oversharing,” unnecessary social “drama,” and the use of the platform by oversharers who post excessively about the minutiae of their lives. The teens in the study also acknowledge the increasing presence of adults on Facebook as a reason for their migration to other social media networks, even though Pew found that 7 in 10 teens are Facebook friends with their parents.

[Photo: Flickr/rishibando]

Because Facebook has become such an important part of the social lives of teens, they are not fleeing from the network nor deactivating their accounts. They are, however, signing up for accounts on other networks like Twitter and Instagram at the same time, where teens feel they can express themselves more openly and honestly without interference from adults. 11% of teens who are engaged in social media now have Instagram accounts, and Twitter saw a massive leap in the number of teen users of their service, from 16% in 2011 to 24% in 2012.

[quote style=”1″]“Now I am basically dividing things up. Instagram is mostly for pictures. Twitter is mostly for just saying what you are thinking. Facebook is both of them combined, so you have to give a little bit of each. But yes, so Instagram, I posted more pictures on Instagram than on Facebook. Twitter is more natural.”
–Female Focus Group Participant (16 Years Old)[/quote]

As usage of social networks by teens is becoming more fractured and spread among several networks, overall usage of social media by teens has not changed significantly. According to the report, “Frequency of teen social media usage may have reached a plateau; three in four teen social media users visit the sites on a daily basis.

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