“Facts About Facebook 2013”
1. Every 20 minutes, there are almost 2 million status updates
2. There are over 600 million average daily users on Facebook today
3. 25% of teens log into to social media 10+ times per day
Let us stop for a moment and relish in the recent statistics about Facebook in 2013 found on Marketme. Let it sink in and we will resume momentarily.
Ahh, that was refreshing. Now, for the analysis.
With 1.15 billion users on Facebook daily, we can assume a majority are students. The age range is difficult to pinpoint, though I can say with confidence most students begin exploring social media sites at around 12 years old (6th grade). I was reassured of this by Matthew Schott, whom I interviewed earlier this year, as he stated, “We should be starting with late elementary and middle schoolers because I think that’s when students are beginning to use social media. A friend of mine just mentioned his son, who’s 12, has 500 followers on Instagram.” What this means is that there are countless (millions) of uneducated students exposing themselves to social media networking sites who are unaware of the consequences their actions may bring.
Now many could testify that Facebook is for “the old people” and is irrelevant to the younger generations. Though this may be true, we must think about why.
According to Business Insider’s article “Why Tweens And Teens Think Facebook Stinks,” the same issue was raised by most 13-year-olds immediately: “Well, a lot of the moms are getting on Facebook.” One child even stated “We don’t want to be in the same space as our moms.”
Why is this?
Most students will say that it is because they don’t think their parents are cool, but numerous others would admit it is because they do not want their families (especially parents) to see what they are posting. Please, PLEASE read “17 Reasons Why The Kids Don’t Like Facebook Anymore” from the Huffington Post for a few real-life examples as to why kids are shunning Facebook. Not only can adults now embarrass their children/young family members, but can dictate how the child runs their own profile (check out #13).
However, if students would follow my advice and take responsibility for representing their character on social media sites, they would not mind if great-grandma Judy stopped by to give them a few encouraging words on their profile (unless Gma Judy is senile and discusses your embarrassing habits and/or hers). Parents would be welcomed to see all of the great, productive things their children are accomplishing, all of the connections they are establishing. And without one vulgar word… Can it be done?
The answer is yes, and quite easily in fact. As parents have discovered and rediscovered, all children need is a little bit of guidance. Give them an example, a role model to follow, and they do pretty well. But with a lack of a role model (or an uneducated one), what else can we expect of children? They mirror what they see, and let’s be honest, some adults have trouble controlling themselves on social media sites as well. I want to touch on this topic now, though it will be discussed more thoroughly in a later post.
Students need a teacher, simple as that. And, unfortunately, change has to begin somewhere. I’m sure as an eighteen year old I will not be able to teach an adult self-control; thus, I am starting with an age group that is a little more malleable. Though I am not a stain-free role model, as I have had my fair share of social media boo-boos, I want to provide students with the tools they need in order to present themselves as respectable, professional citizens in the growing world of technology. Students not only need someone to tell them that they should not post mean, demeaning comments online, but they need someone to show them why not. In my DVD, I plan to give real-life examples of why students should refrain from posting some things on the Internet, and this article only shows a few of the many that are a part of the 2.5 billion pieces of content that are shared on FB every single day (Marketme).