Can you remember being a teenager? I can. Just barely. I can also remember how much I claimed to hate fake people at that time. All the while being pretty fake and incredibly self-absorbed at the same time. Nothing like the 100% genuine person I am today. Especially when it comes to social media. I NEVER present myself in anything but the most honest and real way possible. Nothing like when I was a teen. Yeah, right.
According to a recent survey of U.S. teens and young adults, most teenagers hate fake people. This should come as no surprise. What may come as a surprise is the fact that the survey also found teens admitted social media compels them to be fake too. SHOCKING! Harris Interactive conducted the research study online during the late summer amongst 812 teenagers and young adults aged 13-22. The Naver Corporation’s U.S. subsidiary, Camp Mobile Inc., who earlier this month launched BAND, a private group sharing app in the U.S., commissioned the new survey data.
Indeed, 69% of respondents said their friends weren’t being true to themselves most of the time on social media, and 57% wished their friends would be themselves more. 56% of college students said they would “defriend” someone who was being fake, while 47% of high school students would do the same. But at the same time 40% of respondents said they feel like they can’t be themselves online either. What’s more, 36% said they don’t believe there is currently a social media platform that allows them to fully express their real identities. – The Social Graf, MediaPost
What a quandary! So teens and young adults are super-committed to hating fakers while still being compelled to be fake themselves? This must lead to all sorts of self-loathing. As if there isn’t enough of that during the teenage years.
Taking all of this into account, the most frightening fact that was also revealed is that social media definitely isn’t going anywhere. Three out of four respondents to the survey said they spend the same amount or more time on social media than they did a year ago. With that said, two out of three respondents said they were not sharing as much as they used to. Sounds like there must be a whole lot of lurking (aka looking but not posting) going on. This could be explained by the fact that four out of five think that people their age are sharing to much. Of course none of them are sharing too much. Chalk it all up to their crazy over-sharing friends.
“This new research survey supports our theory that there’s a cultural shift underway, being driven by Generation Z. It shows a preference for online authenticity and more private group spaces to selectively share different information with various subsets of their diverse work and personal lives,” said Doyon Kim, General Manager of Camp Mobile Inc. and BAND. “The moving trend away from auditorium-style social networks to more private group spaces shows there is a real need for a different type of social network and messaging platform.”
Thanks Doyon. That was the first time I’d heard the term Generation Z. I actually had to look it up (hence, the Wikipedia link). You learn something new everyday.
Another shocking fact that the survey revealed is that teens don’t like adults (aka old people) crowding into their social networks. I was stunned! One third said they had decreased their usage of social media sites after their parents and other older relatives showed up, and almost half said they would avoid posting something if there was a chance an older relative would see it.
“These statistics point to the increasing need for private networks in which people can communicate and share with select groups of people,” says Kim. “This change in the way the younger generation share information with their peers will affect the popularity and continued use of a variety of social media networks. It will be interesting to see how technology offerings respond to this shift.
So, there you have it. Teenagers don’t like fakers and old people. I’m sure you’re all as shocked as I am. And, in case you couldn’t tell, I’m faking it.