Are teenagers leaving facebook? Or are they slowly changing their social media habits?
This week I came across this awesome article from our friends over at churchm.ag called, The Facebook Exodus: Where Are All The Teens Going? You need to go and check it out now!
I am constantly hearing chatter that teenagers are leaving facebook. The real question is, are teens leaving facebook ? Lets look at this demographic from Finance Degree Center.
According to this infographic, 23% of students say that facebook is their most important social media network. This is a huge drop from the past years, and even this quarter. I have seen teens use facebook less, but when I ask students if they are on facebook it still is a, “yes”. Are they leaving, or are they are slowly changing the way they spend their time online.
The one stat that is conveniently left at the bottom of the infographic is that facebook still has 1.2 billion monthly active users. This is more than all of the other social networks combined!
Also, what the infographic leaves out is what percentage of each other social network is being used by teenagers? That leaves things pretty vague.
What does this mean for youth workers?
It means that we need to diversify the way we communicate to teenagers. Teenagers are changing the way they spend their time online. We need to change the way we communicate in those different social networks. Should you ditch facebook? Probably not. But you should figure out where the teenagers are online in your ministry, and go there.
We need to focus on relationships. In all the clutter of social media, we need to spend time in our ministries building face-to-face relationships. That is what matters. I have never heard a student say, “wow, your instagram post made me want to become a Christian”. Don’t spend all your time online, spend it with your students in real life.
We need to focus on a few social network platforms. I don’t want to spend all my time online. I also don’t want to spam all the students I work with. In my youth ministry, I pick a few social networks, and I communicate through them well. I still find that texting is the best way to communicate! Focus on a few, don’t spread yourself too thin!
What do you think? Are teenagers leaving facebook at an alarming rate? Have you ditched facebook as a way to reach teens?