I became inspired to blog after reading a post on YPulse about “Youth Social Networking Fatigue”, which outlines why teens are falling out of love with Facebook and other social sites. One particular point made in the article refers to these communities not being “their space anymore”. This reminded me of a question that I recently posed on LinkedIn – which in short asks if having your parents on Facebook would deter you from continuing to participate in the network. I think that answer is a resounding yes. Teenagers are programmed to hate everything their parents do – and have since the first teenager walked the earth slightly hunched over. There are many technological advances that I wish I would have had as a teen, but social networking is not one of them.
To this day I haven’t forgiven my mom for “accidentally reading my diary while dusting” — I don’t know what I’d do if she was tracking my every move on Twitter or Facebook. As parents become more technically savvy, they now know where their teens go, who they hang out with, what music they like, what they bought and what videos they’re watching. It used to be as simple as asking your mom to knock before she came in your room – imagine if she was living in your room. Am I the only one that thinks this is a bit dangerous? Those precious adolescent years are filled with the freedom to not relate to your parents. It’s the time when you are supposed to learn the much needed powers of manipulation and how to get yourself out of sticky situations without mom and dad there to save you. The young social networking set will inevitably grow up to be hyper dependent, needy and unable to deal with the real world and what actually goes on when you step outside.
Let’s hope what Anastasia at YPulse says is true – that teens are not taking this lying down – for the sake of generations to come. However, if they are really so turned off by their parents joining their favorite communities that they are willing to abandon ship, this is a huge win for parents everywhere. Mom and Dad, I think you know what to do next – get busy “sexting” your significant other and his/her friends, start Tweeting what you’re doing every minute (“Buying Crystal Light”, “Paying the cable bill”, “Taking My One-a-Day”), focus on uploading daily office photos to Flickr and dedicate your evenings to playing WoW with your friends from out of state (Class of ’81). Your kids will be so appalled they might actually turn to studying and volunteering. Stranger things have happened.