What do teenagers really think of social media?
How do they use it?
What are they looking for in an app?
The case of teenagers and their thoughts on the world around them has long been a code just waiting to be cracked.
There are plenty of people who’ve tried, and some have been more successful than others.
But who better than to talk about what teenagers think of social media and technology than teenagers themselves?
One teen — a 19-year-old guy from the University of Texas at Austin named Andrew Watts — took to Medium to finally spell it all out for us.
To be clear- I don’t hate Facebook. Facebook is a fantastic platform, I just hope for changes that could get users more engaged again.
— Andrew Watts (@thatswattsup) January 8, 2015
“This article will not use any studies, data, sources, etc. This is because you can easily get that from any other technology news website and analyse from there. I’m here to provide a different view based off of my life in this “highly coveted” age bracket,” Watts explains.
We’ve peeled out some of the most interesting things he had to say about each social platform.
Facebook: “It’s dead to us. Facebook is something we all got in middle school because it was cool but now is seen as an awkward family dinner party we can’t really leave. It’s weird and can even be annoying to have Facebook at times. That being said, if you don’thave Facebook, that’s even more weird and annoying.”
Instagram: “Everything about the application makes it less commercialized and more focused on the content, meaning more teens are inclined to visit it. When we do visit the application it is a much more pleasant experience so we are more inclined to Like and interact with the posts more.”
Twitter: “To be honest, a lot of us simply do not understand the point of Twitter.”
Snapchat: “Snapchat has a lot less social pressure attached to it compared to every other popular social media network out there. This is what makes it so addicting and liberating. If I don’t get any likes on my Instagram photo or Facebook post within 15 minutes you can sure bet I’ll delete it. Snapchat isn’t like that at all and really focuses on creating the Story of a day in your life, not some filtered/altered/handpicked highlight. It’s the real you.”
Tumblr: “Tumblr is where you are your true self and surround yourself (through who you follow) with people who have similar interests. It’s often seen as a “judgment-free zone” where, due to the lack of identity on the site, you can really be who you want to be.”
Yik Yak (anonymous gossip app): “While it hasn’t reached the popularity of the other networks, Yik Yak is a powerful contender that people actually use. Often I see people post about the fight for anonymity with other applications such as Secret. I can tell you that I do not know a single person in my network who uses that application. People reference Yaks all the time with each other or send screenshots, I have yet to ever hear of a hot post on Secret that everyone’s talking about.”
Medium: “Medium’s only challenge is becoming known to the teenage audience. The layout of the site as well as the content is all there, what is needed is just the recognition of our age group. I feel that over time as more teenagers begin to discover Medium, many of my peers will begin blogging here.”
He also had one or two sentences to say about Kik, GroupMe, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp.
You can read his full Medium post here (it’s been recommended by almost 2,000 readers.)