As a 16 year old I spend more time on social networks then I am probably willing to admit. I’ve done the under-the-covers midnight Internet stalking and homework avoidance sessions on tumblr (don’t lie, we’ve all been there). Yet the sites that catch my attention have steadily shifted…
Over the last three years, my friends and I have all drifted from Facebook-the seemingly centre of teenager’s social networking universe. In all honesty, we teenagers are hormonal, attitude filled bags of emotion. We love to express ourselves, and for a 16 year old like me living in this tech savvy age, social networking has become the HQ of our expression. We flock to sites that give us opportunities to express ourselves to the world…and Facebook just isn’t one of them anymore.
Instead of spending two hours on Facebook flicking through a dashboard filled with ads and annoying game requests, I’ve got my phone camera out taking snapshots to post on my Instagram page or send a quick Snapchat to my friends. My MUM spends more time on Facebook then I do. I probably send around fifteen to twenty Snapchats a day, and spend two or three times a week taking photos to post on my Instagram and checking out my feed. Now days Instagram offers teens something much different to Facebook: a way of voicing our creativity and personality. We can post photos of ourselves, food, pets, our friends-whatever we want. It’s personalised to us. Its not just a profile stating our name and age, and ‘works at McDonalds’. We can share our personality not only with our friends, but also with the entire world-which is probably the most exciting thing about it. You get to share your whole individuality with thousands of others, who are also sharing theirs.
However, out of all the social networking sites out there, there is one Holy Grail that consumes hours of your time without you even realising. It’s a love story more tragic than Twilight, where you love it but you hate it, where you want it but you know you shouldn’t… you and the loveable yet dreaded Tumblr. I spend more time on Tumblr then I do on any other social networking site-and so do majority of my friends. I’d easily be an hour a day on Tumblr scrolling through pictures of cats and food and unicorns …And I’ve finally figured out the million-dollar question, why?
The answer is: the dashboard. It’s completely packed with images that personally intrigue me, without ads, without those pointless statuses (“OMG I love my bf forevs, relationship life is way better then single life!”). The dashboard revolves around ME, which lets face it, what every teenager secretly relishes. It’s why steadily, Facebook has faded to now only a communication hub, where I chat to friends for half an hour or so and then neglect all the other aspects that the website offers.
Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat have now taken over as centre Earth in the teens social networking universe, where we hang out the most and where our time is most consumed…making once great Facebook descend in the cosmos to become little Pluto.
Written by Milly Downing