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Teenagers Hate Facebook, but They're Not Logging Off (slate.com)
127 points by duggieawesome on May 24, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 120 comments



Teen here.

I'm firmly in the "hate it but can't stop using it" camp. I've tried G+, and for a brief period a few of my friends tried it as well, but we switched back when it failed to reach critical mass. That's all Facebook has going for it, really, is the people using it; I'm sure most of us would switch to a better network if given the chance, but we won't do it unless a significant majority of our friends come along with us.

I don't like Facebook's approach to privacy, I absolutely hate how many permissions the Facebook app requires on my Android phone, but if I cut myself off of Facebook I'm losing out on a huge, huge percentage of social interaction with people who I know but am not particularly close to (which for most people is at least 80% of their friends list). Plus all the history I've amassed on Facebook since grade 7.

For better or worse, teens are stuck on Facebook for the time being, and unlike the move from MySpace, I don't see switching off of it happening any time soon. Sure, there's Twitter, Instagram, etc. which are also heavily used by my age group, but only as secondary networks - Facebook remains the definition of online social interaction.

EDIT: A few more thoughts:

An important part of it mentioned elsewhere in the thread is the fact that Facebook basically acts as a glorified address book/communications hub - if I want Chris to come to my party or add him to a group conversation about something or share a picture with him, all I need is his name. Not an email, not a phone number, just a name. It's pretty incredible if you think about it. Nothing else comes close.


I don't use Facebook personally. My wife and family use it quite heavily, and I've seen the interactions on it.

Those relationships you think you're keeping alive by staying on Facebook are not worth keeping, generally. I graduated before social networks were a thing, but I distinctly remember having groups of friends at school who just didn't matter much outside of it. I'm 30 now and only keep in touch with two people from HS. They were my best friends at the time, and have largely stayed that way.

When I am trying to find someone to hang with, I just call or text them. There's no back and forth online with everyone watching our conversation, liking or commenting on it. There is no judgment.

My wife has almost everyone from high school added as friends on Facebook, but when it comes down to finding a real friend when she needs one, not a single one of them are there. Sure, they'll like a status or comment on something she writes, but none of it means anything.

It saddens me that people feel like they NEED these relationships that would naturally disintegrate without online networks.


>It saddens me that people feel like they NEED these relationships that would naturally disintegrate without online networks.

>When I am trying to find someone to hang with, I just call or text them.

It saddens me that you need these relationships that would disintegrate without cellular communications technology.


It saddens me that there are people with friendships that would disintegrate if they left their current job.


> if I cut myself off of Facebook I'm losing out on a huge, huge percentage of social interaction

Is it possible to have a Facebook account but just use it as a back-end? For instance, don't use the website or the app. But use Cue to pull events out onto your calendar, and Verbs to get Facebook chat, and so on?

https://www.cueup.com/

http://verbs.im/

Is there a way to use a constellation of apps that access Facebook info so that you effectively don't have to be on Facebook itself?


I don't even use cueup. You can pull fb events directly into a gcal.

For me, using fb as a backend has proved to be really effective in eliminating a lot of the social 'noise' while not missing out on fb-only event invites.


Cool, I didn't know about Verbs for chat. I've linked FB to my Google Calendar before, the only problem with that was people making month-long events for college promotions -- you don't realize how much calendar spam noise your friends make until that data leaves Facebook's filters.

Is there value in utilizing Facebook's databases and allowing them to track your connections, but having to manage your own front-end for everything?


There was a time (maybe it's still possible) when Facebook Chat used XMPP, which means you could use a client like bitlbee or pdigin to connect.


It's still possible. I used pidgin today for Facebook Chat.


It was never very stable.


Define stable. Do you mean it crashes? or that it drops out once in a while? Because I use Facebook over XMPP and I've never actually experienced any problems.


It dropped a lot when I tried using it, and the "in browser and Adium and a Pidgin" combination was super unstable -- caused it to crash a lot more. It may have improved, but I couldn't get it to stay connected more than 15 minutes. This was about 2 years ago maybe?


This is awesome. I actually deleted the app and stuff for a few days, but the main problem was with stuff like events. I would have an event on FB but forget where it was and have to log in to check. I'm really not sure I could emphasize enough what a POS facebook is for actually interacting with other human beings.


I found facebook cannot beat google+ if focused on tech personalities. Facebook is great for my old world of interaction, but google+ appears to be better optimized for the scientific world. Both stimulate my mind, but I'm starting to spend more time on google+. Facebook development seems to have long been down the path to the cash cow.


I think pretty much everyone who uses Facebook is, at least partially, in this mindset. The network is so large that people feel as though they're missing out if they leave (whether or not that is actually true).


I signed up again, after a 2+ year absence, because I discovered solid proof that I was missing out. People would be surprised not to see me at some event or other, and I would comment that I hadn't been invited, and this would create confusion - "well, let me check facebook, I'm sure I invited you" - "I'm not on Facebook" - "Ohh....."

One of my friends had a special list of half a dozen people he still sent emailed event invitations to. It's extra work, though, and most people stopped bothering. I decided that my hate for Facebook inc. was not strong enough to make me willing to inconvenience my friends, so I signed back up.


When people wanted to organise birthday parties at my last office they just added it as an appointment in the calendar. I suspect that if most email clients ever are well integrated with calendars then that'll probably be the end for facebook. ATM, however, there's no good calendar software integrated into most email clients so arranging a meet - even if you've got the social connections stored on your phone - is a pain in the neck.

:/


If you don't mind me asking, what do you/we think would constitute a better network?

You mention privacy as a key factor -- I agree, but rationally a free social network must encourage sharing to stock its shelves with user information to provide to advertisers. In the other direction, there's App.net which can afford to enforce privacy because its income depends only on membership fees. (Unfortunately, membership fees inhibit the network effect.)

So what would make Facebook better? A better photo-sharing experience? An Events system which could interface with external apps? Or, does it go deeper? More users, I think, are recognizing that Facebook shows their friends only at their best, and are struggling to compare their lives to the glorified lives of their friends. Will the next social network open the door to deeper sharing, as opposed to more sharing? (Path comes to mind here...)


I have no problem with the fact that Facebook has to gather and distribute some sort of information on you to get advertiser money, it's just a matter of the way they do it. There's obviously the whole Facebook uploading all your contacts without your permission issue (IIRC, that's still going on) and the fact that for whatever reason whenever I open up the Facebook app on an Android device, the GPS icon in my notification starts blinking that my location is being obtained. Which, if it were a rough network-based location to get my current city for targeted ads is fine - but it's not, and obtaining my exact location without my permission is not okay. (That's one of the things iOS gets right - per-app configurable permissions, it's a shame Android has nothing like it without a custom ROM.)

To clarify, I think Facebook (the app) itself is fantastic. The issue isn't the tech, it's the shady behavior by the company who develops it.


I agree that the technology is impressive -- after all, serving a billion users boggles the mind.

I was getting at the faults of the platform, though. It seems that people are satisfied with Facebook's groups, chat, and events features, but not the news feed/status updates portion of the site. I was wondering aloud if a social network like Path, which seeks to encourage more honest sharing as opposed to a greater volume of sharing, offered some insight into why people are becoming dissatisfied with Facebook.


>stock its shelves with user information to provide to advertisers

People are always talking about how Facebook is selling your data. Is there any evidence for this? They'll use your data internally to target ads on behalf of advertisers, but do we know that they're actually giving the advertisers any information?


You're right. In retrospect that sentence had a negative connotation, but I didn't mean it that way. By "providing" I didn't strictly mean selling. Facebook encourages sharing to learn as much as possible about its users, then enables advertisers to fine-grain their target audiences based on specific information about users. I actually don't see a problem with that model, as long as ads are relevant to me and presented in a sane way.


They have to be selling the data because the advertisers certainly aren't using it. I turned of my adblocker just to see what kinds of adds I was being offered.

I could get cheap heating gas from a company 200 miles away, buy crap I didn't need including "magic" amulets and my favorite: get the exact degree that I already had from the exact university that I got it from.

Facebook knows I am an atheist with a college degree, the school I went to and what degree I got there and my current city, so they should have been able to filter all of those out. None of that information was tricked out of me, btw, I added it all myself.

Oh and the rest of the ads were 90% shitty dating sites (because, I suspect, that good dating sites don't need to advertise) more than half of which were obvious scams (again, I have a college STEM degree, don't show me the stuff that hopes to just get stupid people to sign up).

Facebook does allow you to opt out of any given add or all ads from that company but they don't even allow you to opt out of ads for a particular group.

So yeah, I hope Facebook is selling the information because I have no idea what else the use it for.


I left, then got an internship in the valley and needed a way to interact with my fellow interns before flying out. So I came crawling back. Everything you've said resonates with me - "not particularly close to" is also a HUGE chunk of my social circle. Makes you think, though, do I really need to keep in touch with these people? If I really needed to, I could find a way (call, SMS, email, etc).


I have gone cold turkey from Facebook, after years of checking/updating multiple times a day. And it wasn't hard, because I just realized that I wasn't interested in the lives of the 80% "acquantainces" any more. The fact that somebody I knew at some point got married is really not important to me (and my "Like" doesn't mean much to them). And I feel that if I need to contact a friend after a long time, it is rather easy to pick up where you left off.


I log into facebook about once every three months, usually when someone tells me in meatspace 'I sent you something on FB', like the invite details to a party. When there I have a poke around, and see how banal the day-to-day feed is.

On the up side, I sometimes have a chat with a random friend I met on my travels, but that in itself is not worth being sucked into the facebook machine, which is basically treading social water.


So thankful that Facebook came after all my friends got email! Only one got sucked into Facebook.


You're lucky, then. Facebook didn't become big until after all my friends were using email and AIM. They still switched to facebook because it's easier than email and AIM. I sent one of them an email last month and they told me they were confused because it didn't have a "like" button on it. o_O


> An important part of it mentioned elsewhere in the thread is the fact that Facebook basically acts as a glorified address book/communications hub - if I want Chris to come to my party or add him to a group conversation about something or share a picture with him, all I need is his name. Not an email, not a phone number, just a name. It's pretty incredible if you think about it. Nothing else comes close.

I thought I read somewhere teens aren't using real names on FB ? What's the general usage ?


Exactly two people out of 251 on my list have ever used pseudonyms. In both cases it was brief as it annoyed the hell out of everyone else and we told them so.

A spam-free email account where everyone can be reached by real name is really quite attractive.


Within my friends (high school), some use pseudonyms (or middle names as last names) to avoid being seen in revealing photos by colleges or employers.


Of the few hundred friends I have on Facebook (almost all under 18), not one is using a pseudonym. Not sure where you heard that.


I believe I read it here when the google plus real name policy was debated.

Here's an old article mentionning this fake name trend: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/oct/02/facebook-child...

I am not a teen anymore but I find this surprising because IRC, MSN was all the rage when I was younger and nickname was really the norm. Just like those _xx_daemon_xx_@hotmail.com addresses.

I am a supporter of half-anonymous practices and I am surprised it's not more widespread than I believed.

Update: And from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Teens-Social-Media-A... I can see fake names seem to be marginal, with people managing at least one real/official account.


>all I need is his name. Not an email, not a phone number, just a name. It's pretty incredible if you think about it. Nothing else comes close.

This is the primary value proposition of Facebook for me, and why I continue to defend real-name policies. Not having to mess with a set of aliases is really quite convenient.


There is a lot of difference between being able to set/search by real name and being forced to do so.


If anyone can leave Facebook it's teens. Their social networks aren't developed/mature enough where they have to depend on other people's social network preferences. Most teens could literally leave on a whim and bring most of their friend with them. I still remember how quick the exodus from ICQ to MSN was (and nobody hated ICQ.. it just kinda happened).

Also when a teen tells you that they hate something because there's too much drama.. it means they fuckin' love it. They CAN leave but they don't want to because Facebook is so effective at stoking their out-of-control hormones. With Instagram in the fold this is especially true. As for why everyone else is on Facebook? Well it's because everyone else is on Facebook. And how else are you going to see pictures from your out-of-the-country relatives or creep on your high-school crush. I think Facebook has reached enough critical mass to not have to worry about becoming irrelevant for quite some time. For the record I don't use Facebook much myself, other than to keep a reminder of when everyone's birthday is.


>> "If anyone can leave Facebook it's teens. Their social networks aren't developed/mature enough where they have to depend on other people's social network preferences. Most teens could literally leave on a whim and bring most of their friend with them. I still remember how quick the exodus from ICQ to MSN was (and nobody hated ICQ.. it just kinda happened)."

I think it's completely the opposite. It's not bringing your friends to a new network that's the hard part - it's bringing your data (mainly photos). Getting thousands of photos out of Facebook that are nicely tagged and commented on and into another network is impossible. Getting the photos out is possible but it's a lot of work. Switching IM networks is much easier than switching social networks which have so much data we value stored in them.

Another problem is that teenagers are constantly meeting new people. The default is not to ask for a phone number but for an add on Facebook. If you aren't on it you aren't going to be able to keep in touch with and develop a friendship with this new person you've just met.


"It's not bringing your friends to a new network that's the hard part - it's bringing your data (mainly photos). Getting thousands of photos out of Facebook that are nicely tagged and commented on and into another network is impossible."

I'm constantly surprised that people actually care about the commenting part; tagging I can sort of see the value in, but only from the perspective that Facebook becomes your main photo library. Granted I'm not the most sentimental kind of chap, but once uploaded photos have been commented on, liked, +1'd etc, how many people really care about that sort of thing? Presumably people have copies of photos they care about or are deeply personal.

Of course, maybe this is the part of me that always goes "Oh yeah, I do that, and that, and..." when I go to seminars on Autism rearing its head. I'm also somewhat bemused by people's film-era photo albums for the most part, so I guess there's that.


Photos didn't keep teens from jumping to Facebook form MySpace.


Myspace's photo experience was terrible.


This is what people will say about Twitter, Facebook, and Gplus in a year from now.


Can you elaborate? Are you saying that the statement is just fashionable because everything tends to get better? Or do you believe there are better photo sharing experiences? Thanks


What's that saying? "It's not you that owns your possessions, it's your possessions that owns you"

s/possessions/data/


Photos have too much sentimental value attached to them to think of them as just another 'possession'. They will provide value to you in 10 years, 25 years, and 50 years and can't be easily replaced.


I don't want to stereotype teens since I'm sure there are a lot of mature, insightful teenagers, but do you think most teens place a lot of importance on their data? Do they want to keep and treasure all their selfies and random party pics well into their college years?

16-21 is like a personality black hole for most people. It's a time when you're super self-absorbed and you're living from moment to moment, literally changing every day. If I'm totally alone here then please ignore me, but once in a while I will run into a random picture of me when I was 17 or something and I can't help but think "who the fuck is this person".. and immediately want to bury that particular picture. Pictures with family are a different story, those I treasure immensely. But they are so few and far between, and certainly would not have been considered Facebook-worthy in my teens.


As a 22 year old I grew up with social networks, and it was also the time when digital cameras where first becoming more prevalent, so there are photos I have of me online stretching back to when I was 14. Every now and then I enjoy looking back on those photos. It's not like my profile is filled with photos of me. It's photos of me with other people. Friends I don't know anymore, ex-girlfriends, and people I still keep in touch with. The great thing about Facebook is that I took probably less than 5% of these photos. Most were taken by friends and I was tagged in them. I think that's the most valuable thing about Facebook for me. I always feel awkward taking photos (like I'm disturbing people or annoying them). The fact that other people I'm with can take the photos and tag me in them and share the album is invaluable. Sure there are always photos that make you cringe but I don't think age has anything to do with it. I'm sure that when I'm 40 and look back at pictures of me in my late 20s/early 30s there will be pictures that make me cringe too.


Maybe it's a generational thing then; digitally native millennials vs. gen-y or something. Either way, a decade makes a big difference in how you use the technology around you.


Bringing friends over is the hard part. Bringing photos over from Facebook to Google+ is extremely easy with its facial recognition.


>If anyone can leave Facebook it's teens.

Couldnt disagree more. Teens are the most-dependent age group on fb's fake social interactions.

I am 32 and I could leave fb in a second. That is because I realize that im not being social by liking posts or commenting on photos or any of the other common flows. Thats not social! Plus there is not nearly the peer pressure at my age that there is for teenagers to do that type of stuff.

(i never used fb for photos though, which is a big lock-in. my comments are just regarding the social interactions)


Why are they fake social interactions? Any bit of connection to other people is a social interaction. For some, it's a major part of their social interaction with peers. For others, it's a small bit part. It's definitely not 'fake' though. They are other people clicking that like button, and not some anonymous random internet strangers, like on Reddit or HN where the up/down arrows are used. You KNOW someone was looking at your post, and felt a connection enough to you or it to signal so through a comment or a 'like'.


I don't think so. I find it more like meta-interaction. You're interacting with the results or consequences of someone else's interactions.

If you're actually talking or communicating, via exchanges of comments or instant messages then I feel that's interaction.


Liking someone's photo is just as much of a social interaction as complimenting someones dress in person. Just two different mediums.


For the record, ICQ's issue was needless complexity. Lots of extra clicks for no good reason. Nobody hated it, but pressing "enter" on msn messenger meant more words per minute, and for us teens at the time, it seemed more fun.


The other thing about teens is that there are always a new bunch every year. So a social network displacing Facebook could start with the influx of new users who aren't committed to Facebook (or anything else) yet.


didn't msn messenger came with windows pre-installed?

this means that your non-tech savvy friends have an incentive to use it, just like the internet explorer.

"hey John, I want to chat with you over this internet thing"

John likes Jane and wants to talk to her but she is not comfortable with downloading and installing programs. She noticed that there is an app which name suggests that it is for messaging, she clicked the icon, answered the questions and created an account.

Now the tech savvy John has to create msn messenger account to talk to Jane. All the people missing from ICQ are on msn messenger now and those on ICQ can easily create a msn accout. At first both msn and ICQ run side by side but msn messenger has all the people from the ICQ while ICQ lacks many of the friends. Why bother to use ICQ? the starting sound is not good enough reason and the RAM is scarce resource for many. so, don't run ICQ all the time, only when you need it. Msn catches up with the features and people don't have reason to use ICQ anymore.

you can switch to some other network if you have somebody to interact there.

also, many hated ICQ. it had annoying spam, the messages you receive from people that are not on your list.

people can move away from facebook only if there emerges a network with a killer feature, builds up some core network of early adopters and the rest follows them because they know the people there.


I disagree that it's easy to leave like that. I have the email/phone number of maybe 5% of my Facebook friends. If I need to contact any of them, the quickest way is Facebook.


That depends on how often you do need to contact them. If you don't call/text/IM them, then you could have no contact info and not miss it.

I also think that it is relatively easy to find somebody's phone number once you do wish to call/text them. You can just ask a common friend or Facebook them from a throwaway.


So get the numbers, then leave. Get their address too. Snail mail will soon be hip again.


I guess facebook has truly become a utility: It's a semi-monopolist users hate, but they find it too hard to cut the cord. Sounds like AT&T, Comcast etc.


There's also the aspect of social pressure to use the platform.

I remember how quickly people stopped using IM and moved their entire online presence to Facebook, including the announcement and discussion of planned events.

As an IM user who never moved, it kinda sucked. :)

I guess you could say the same about the move from ICQ to Windows/MSN Messenger, though.


As a teen who did cut the cord (edit: of Facebook) out of annoyance of rampant reposting and other irritating stuff, I've been fine. I don't want to say I'm popular because I'm not, but if you have a standing within your friend circle you might be able to get them to use your thing. For me, that was my IRC channel.


Ok, I'm an adult in my later 20s. I have a mixture of friends and business associates on Facebook.

I have friends who post annoying stuff (blocked from feed) and friends who posted really inappropriate comments on my stuff (unfriended.)

Is there some part to teen usage that discourages blocking a friend's feed or unfriending someone?


>Is there some part to teen usage that discourages blocking a friend's feed or unfriending someone?

Possibly, but for me I guess that seemed like losing a valuable news source unless it got really bad, which had happened.. Looking back though, deleting was probably too extreme, and I still use Twitter /and/ Instagram.


In 2007, danah boyd posited that teens don't get stuck to social networks. The theory was that they didn't need to maintain a giant extended network, because they saw their friends every day anyway. Besides they are shifting friend groups constantly, so rebuilding a profile is like spring cleaning.

http://www.zephoria.org/thoughts/archives/2007/01/01/ephemer...

She later argues that Facebook became the network of choice among college-bound kids. Maybe that sort of person does want to maintain an extended network (dkulchenko's example is about internships, for instance).

So was is it true that teens are more able to switch, or not? Was it always wrong? Has it changed as Facebook ate the entire social networking universe? I would appreciate it if younger HN'ers weighed in.


"Facebook is the living dead: the most popular, least relevant social network where teenagers and adults alike gather out of fear of missing out on things that don't even make them happy."

Best description of Facebook I've ever read.


I agree.

I have looked back only once since quitting Facebook three years ago. That was yesterday, when I met with old-time friends who suggested I should keep a page in order to get in more frequent contact with them.


I wonder if there's a market for several smaller "social" networks centered around a single focus?

I was in college when facebook was expanding through universities. It was great, and the experience and content on facebook mirrored college life.

When it expanded beyond college and added the news feed, I found myself using it less. College-me was not the person I was for my grandma. I didn't care about the political views of my parents' friend who I hadn't seen in 10 years.

And it wasn't just me - Every now and then I log in to facebook to see what old classmates have been up to, and a lot of them have become inactive like myself.

The article mentions teens liking instagram more - its has a purpose centered around photos, and that it.

Writing this, I kind of miss old facebook and its limited uses.


I hate to be the one to say it but it sounds like you stopped using Facebook because of the people you added. If you want to keep it for college-you don't add your Grandma or parents. I've managed to keep my friends list quite small by not adding people I meet once and never again, and by only adding a few close family members (and then using the privacy controls when sharing to only explicitly share to them when I need to). I've ignored lots of requests for family members and strangers/acquaintances and the quality of my news feed is still as good as it ever was.

Single focus social networks like Instagram are great but most people I know that use them just share that stuff out to Facebook anyway.


Ummm... "hate"?! Give me a break. Sensationalist headline.

According to the article, one 15-year-old girl said she "hated" it. Otherwise, the majority complained about adults, negative interactions and oversharing -- none of which really has anything to do with Facebook, but rather the specific friends they've added, or the concept of a social network in general.


As one of the teens they're talking about - and one with friends who feel the same - we really don't like Facebook. For some reason, Facebook thinks its being useful by showing me random band fanpages that I never 'liked' in the first place. They're just adding more noise. The game requests were bad enough, but at least you could easily ban those from showing up.

That doesn't even begin to get into the privacy issues and the other irritating shit.

The only thing I really use facebook for is an address book with chat.


The plural of anecdote is not data. Just because you and your circle of friends don't like Facebook doesn't mean much. Especially given that Facebook is a worldwide service and attitudes/behaviours of people differ from country to country.

The facts are that Facebook's user count is growing around 20% year on year with extremely high engagement. So people aren't moving.


Mobile page looks down, but article is still up on main page: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/05/22/teenagers_ha...


Thanks for this link. Frustrated that posters think they are clever by linking to a mobile version of a story, to avoid ads or whatever. I couldn't find the non-mobile story on slate.com for some reason.

I'd rather support the magazine and view their silly ads. Plus, the mobile version stretches paragraphs across the width of the entire browser window, which is unreadable using the window size I normally use, and I'd prefer not to have to resize my window to read an article.


I'm going to give the poster the benefit of the doubt here. It's extraordinarily difficult to post a non-mobile link from a mobile device. I've had several instances where I've just given up trying to make a decent post on my iPad and just wait until I'm home to make the post.


I still struggle to think of the iPad as a "mobile" device. Tablets, like laptops, are too big for the pockets sewn into most clothing, so we need to either carry them everywhere, or stow them inside a bag, and carry that everywhere. Either way, bringing one requires more than just putting the device in a pocket.


Sure - I agree with your sentiment. Try telling that to every web developer out there that is sure you want a special experience for your "crippled" machine (based on user agent obviously).

The problem is many, many sites identify the thing you are using as one of 2 devices: a "Desktop Computer" and a "Mobile/Tablet device".


Isn't PPC the norm nowadays? Unless I'm wrong, viewing the ads gives them no benefit; only clicking would.


Next headline. . . "Teens hate parents, but Can't Leave". Give me a break.


Um, I think the two might coincide.


Sign of the times: yesterday in the paper I saw an article stating how the price of raising a kid to age 24 has risen in recent years.

24!? I actually laughed out loud, long, and lusty.


I'm always a little confused why hacker news seems to love to hate facebook. Pretty weak posts like this appear and everyone in the comments gets to brag about how they don't have a facebook or facebook is on the way out etc.


Posts like yours always show up too. It's cyclic insanity on HN. Any Facebook thread devolves into: "I don't use Facebook." and "Why do people on HN hate Facebook?"

Any PHP post devolves into: "I hate PHP." and "Why do HNers hate PHP?"

Any Google post devolves into "I hate Google." and "Why do HNers hate Google?"

Any Apple post..

On and on and on.


I feel like someone should actually go through old threads that no one is updating anymore and just analyze frequency and timing.


this is true on reddit, and other social sites.

1st day/time X is (+over the top adjectives) good / bad 2nd day/time X is actually bad / good 3rd day/time Why do people argue about whether is actually bad / good 4th date/time meta post about meta post

repeat the following week/month/year/etc.


It is a social version of AOL; a walled, sanitized, child-proof, alternative internet kept clean and safe by its overseers. I can not think of anything a hacker would hate more outside of App stores on phones and the Great Firewall.


Because it's an awful product that everyone nonetheless still uses. It's the Windows 95 of our time: popular entirely because it's popular.


Depending on who you ask, Facebook has been "on the way out" for about 9 years now.


If it makes you feel any better this was on the front page of reddit too.


Facebook has no real incentive to reach out to this age group. They won't earn much profit off of teens, and teens are younger than their original demographic (college-aged students).

Also, I thought the line about "everyone says Facebook is dying" was quite telling. The stats say otherwise, but people will believe what they want (or what the media tells them).


Of course they have incentive. They need to get users while they are young (i.e. before they are using a competitor). Teenagers take and post a lot of photos. If you get them to store them on Facebook you lock them in for life. Then you get value from them in 5-10 years. If Facebook only thinks short-term like you suggest they will die. And I think it's been proven Facebook has always thought long-term (e.g. prioritising UX and getting users over advertising for a long time after launch).


Of course, nobody goes on Facebook anymore. It's too crowded.


What about in five years, when the same teens are college students?


Exactly, of course you should focus on your most profitable demographic when launching a new product. But once you have a sustainable business it's important to think about where your money will be coming from in the future.

I doubt anyone will say that tobacco companies marketing to teenagers is a bad idea because they can't even buy the product yet. It ensures the long term profitability of the company.


If it is not a bad idea, then why don't I see them marketing cigarettes to teens and/or lobbing congress (to get X law passed).



Well, you're implying there's a great deal of foresight and future investment going on :P

I don't think the turnover from Facebook is currently high enough for "management", as it were, to care about the opinions of a few teenagers.


I don't think they have anything to fix. The teenagers in the article seemed to believe that your social status is crippled without Facebook. It might be a Machiavellian way to get eyeballs on advertisements, but by criminy it's working, and at the end of the day the end users aren't the customers.


The incentive is advertising revenue - teens are a very attractive ad market.



I'm a senior in high school, and I've found that with college coming up, Facebook is becoming increasingly important to talk with the other kids that are in your college class. There's a group for my class, and I've already befriended a few of them. This sort of community isn't found on places like Twitter.

A large part of my high school class is on Twitter, but I can't stand to follow them. Most of them are blithering idiots, spewing incomplete, barely legible sentences about some stupid thing they've done.

I have tried to get people to use Path, but it hasn't caught. I see it as the replacement for Facebook. However, as other commenters have said, it would be impossible for Path to compete with Facebook because they don't have the sheer numbers of people that Facebook has. If I meet someone and want to continue communicating with them online, Facebook is the place to do that: I know that they're there.


This is precisely the problem - all current "social networks" are terrible. Facebook will be killed, but it won't be done by incremental change. Social networking needs another revolution, something to make it relevant and exciting as Facebook was in its first few years.


When people I know (teens) say they "hate" Facebook, they mean they hate the amount of time they waste on Facebook. That's my chief complaint. It's an easy thing to do while mentally idling, and costs no effort, attention, or money. And you're on a variable-ratio schedule for dopamine hits. I quickly developed a habit where I spend dead time mindlessly browsing Facebook instead of doing something productive.

This is the only complaint I hear from my friends. Nobody in my age group has ever mentioned ad targeting, and people with nosy adult "friends" know how to use privacy settings to hide from them. The only reason I've ever been given in person for quitting Facebook is the time-sink.

My point is that we don't want to "leave" to another social network. We want to stop using social networking. But we can't, because spam-free email by real name is powerful, locked in, and occasionally necessary.


I absolutely hate these mobile "optimized" sites (Slate) that disable pinch zoom.


People "hate" facebook the same way that an older generation "hated" TV. Yeah it's full of shallow, vapid content, but it's entertaining, and as long as it continues to be entertaining people will use it.


> “Honestly,” one 15-year-old girl told Pew, “I'm on it constantly but I hate it so much.”

Maybe I'm too far from high school but I can't picture a situation where you would have to use FB "constantly" even though you "hate it". It's not really explained in the article either, there's just some superficial quotes about "Drama" and "Adult presence".

I know adult's who say they hate facebook but maintain accounts but this equates to logging in for a couple minutes a couple times a week, liking some photos, maybe posting a few and then getting on with their day.


It's probably more along the lines of "I hate that I have to use Facebook, because that's the cool thing to do, but everyone else uses it, so I'd be even more uncool if I didn't use it."


My buddy had a status update today that I think sums up the feeling: "Going to Facebook has become the equivalent of opening the fridge & staring inside, even though you're not hungry."


No more like:

If I didn't use Facebook I wouldn't know what everyone is talking about. See also: reality TV.


It's high school, it's so easy to become ostracized if you don't do the same as all the other kids in class.


Tangentially related: a Facebook app called Social Roulette (which purported to have a 1/6 chance of "helping" a user delete his/her account) was recently deactivated.

http://fffff.at/when-you-dont-own-yourself/

Facebook certainly doesn't want to make leaving easy, but really, what else did we expect?


I really wish facebook could help me manage the outer reaches of my social sphere—those I contact infrequently, whom I care about, but am not in constant communication. Something that would prod me to send a message or something to an old friend I hadn't remembered to email in the past month or so.


facebook as CRM? I wonder if you could could build an app that did that...


There is a reason why Facebook remains the most popular social media website. It's ability to link to thousands of different websites and apps gives its an edge up against other social media websites.


Seems to me like people are returning to instant messaging in the form of mobile messaging like WhatsApp and Kik. I wonder who will come out as the winner in this race.


i don't like facebook, but i think it's the only service that got the social network right, just tell me what are the real competitors to facebook, don't say G+


I suspect that no answer will make you happy here, since a social network "getting it right" is where all the people are. You can't be getting it right if a significant number of people aren't there, and you can't be a competitor unless you're getting it right (the threshold for 'significant' seems to mainly depend on which network you personally use ;P).

I'm one of those strange people who is perfectly happy on G+. I was 'friends' with a significantly larger number of people I knew in meatspace when I was on Facebook compared to G+, but they were people I had lost touch with for a reason (regardless if whether that was my fault or theirs). G+ has allowed me to follow and interact with a broader range of interesting people that I don't know personally or event tangentially, and so to me, that makes it a much more useful social network that Facebook ever was.


Maybe the problem isn't Facebook, but the concept of the social network. This particularly demographic seems to prefer Tumblr, which has social aspects, but isn't a social network in the traditional sense of Facebook or LinkedIn


Teens hate everything. Don't worry, they'll grow out of it.


Teens spend 30 seconds per minute hating facebook, right after the 30 seconds they spent loving it


Robots have already become our masters, without firing a shot.




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