Teens explain why they are turning from Facebook - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Teens explain why they are turning from Facebook

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It's no secret, teenagers love social media. In fact, a study from Pew says that teens are sharing more about themselves on social media than they did six years ago.

However, that same study says teens are growing tired of one particular site. Facebook. Why the love-hate relationship when it comes to Facebook?

Over sharing is an issue with many of them. They also say Facebook creates too much drama. And then there are parents. Many teens are turning to other sites, like Twitter and Instagram to escape the eyes of parents, aunts, uncles and other adults.

They feel these other sites allow them to be their true selves.

"Younger kids really are leaning toward other tools. Facebook is one that they use, but they feel more obligated to use it," said Anna Lloyd, a digital media specialist at the University of Alabama Birmingham .

Though facebook is still the number one social media site, teens are spending more time on other sites. For example, a Pew poll shows teen twitter use grew from sixteen percent in 2011 to twenty-four percent on 2012.

So what does twitter have that facebook doesn't?  Better yet, what does twitter not have? Teens say less parents.

"My mom doesn't want to hear that I have a thousand plus friends and that kind of thing. She's always on my page looking at all my friends and what they post," said 16-year-old Dotun Adewunmi

He has facebook, twitter and instagram accounts. His mother only connects with him on facebook, and monitors his activity closely. He says he doesn't mind it. But his peers escape to other sites to participate in activities parents would not approve of.

"You do more. Comment on things that you shouldn't really comment on, post more pictures that you know your mom wouldn't like. Yeah they do that, relax more on twitter," he said.

According to Pew, teens cite "too many adults" as one reason they are turning away from facebook. Lloyd says that's likely to remain the case for years to come.

"As soon as they see their mom pop up they'll find somewhere else to go. For facebook, the average user is in their forties. That's a surprising statistic, but you know, teenagers are aware of that. They want a place where they can go be with just their friends," she said.

Another reason teens are tired of facebook is drama.
 
"When something at school happens you always hear "well it's going to be on facebook". There are always fights at school and the next things you know somebody has it on facebook," said Adewunmi.

Lloyd says there is such a things as too much drama, even for teenagers.

"Facebook sort of has a nosey factor. It becomes a place where, especially for high schoolers and really for any group drama is there. You can watch it unfold and there's kind of a fascination with it," she said.

Pew research says the average teen facebook user has three-hundred friends. The average twitter user has seventy-nine followers. Lloyd says teenagers are more comfortable being themselves among a small, intimate group of people.

She says Facebook networks are so large that you may actually be sharing something with people who aren't your friends.

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