An exhaustive study in the use of social media across eight European Union countries has found a severe downwards trend in the use of Facebook among 16-18 year olds in the United Kingdom.
Daniel Miller, a leading anthropologist in the Global Social Media Impact Study, said: “What we’ve learned from working with 16-18 year olds in the UK is that Facebook is not just on the slide, it is basically dead and buried. Mostly they feel embarrassed even to be associated with it.”
Over the course of the fifteen-month ethnographic study, the team found that young people were abandoning Facebook in favour of Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.
Miller, who wrote at length about the survey results on The Conversation, said a major cause of the shift was parents using Facebook to stay in touch with their children.
He wrote: “What appears to be the most seminal moment in a young person’s decision to leave Facebook was surely that dreaded day your mum sends you a friend request. You just can’t be young and free if you know your parents can access your every indiscretion.”
But he said that rather than meeting its end, Facebook has simply “evolved into a very different animal”, fulfilling a different use case.