|Where the Cool Kids Aren't
By: Jessica Cherok
As a teenager, pretty much the last place you want to hang out is where your parents are. No surprise then that Facebook’s popularity is waning amongst the teens and young adults. Hanging out with mom and dad, even online, is totally lame.
Unfortunately for Facebook, this trend may only increase as more and more of its users' children become old enough to start using social media sites.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) set federal regulations for sites that allow users under 13 years old, so many sites — including Facebook — have set 13 as the minimum age requirement to set up a profile. By doing so, the sites are able to avoid some of the difficult privacy and consent requirements of COPPA.
But once these kids are old enough to set up an account, will they?
As adults, we’re familiar with a similar scenario in the work place. Being Facebook friends with your boss can severely limit what you can post on your profile, but denying your boss's request could be worse. It’s just as sticky of a situation when it comes to friending your parents.
However, kids today have a lot more options when it comes to social media choices. Many opt to use Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, and Tumblr. Of course, there are parents on these sites as well, but not nearly as many as on Facebook. Let’s face it, there’s not nearly as many grandparents on SnapChat.
So will this be the end of Facebook? Doomed to a finite user base from here forward because teens and young adults didn’t want to hang with the grown-ups? Perhaps so.
Jessica Cherok is an advocate for online privacy, campaigning for ethical data practices and the protection of personal privacy.
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