Are We Outgrowing Facebook?

I created my Facebook profile at the age of 13 when I was going into high school. At the time, social networking was relatively new – the transition from Myspace to Facebook introduced a new form of online communication. We use Facebook as platform for social interactions, and this behavior is widespread among people our age. Nearly 50% of users are between the ages of 13 and 25, and my particular age group has been with Facebook since it became available to non-university students. However, as we near our 6th year with the site, we must address the question if we’re becoming “too old” for Facebook.

Many of my friends and I had the same experience in our early Facebook years – the scariest possible scenario was having our parents create an account and force us to friend them. Thus, all of our deepest secrets and personal interactions with our friends become available to mom and dad. This obviously wasn’t the most comforting thought, so I changed my privacy settings to hide wall posts and photos from my parents. Quite honestly, I think that my parents only have a Facebook so they can stay involved in their children’s’ lives beyond the household, which leads me to wonder what will happen when I have kids of my own.

Facebook originally spread amongst teens not only because it was an excellent social application, but also because all of one’s friends were on the site. From there, it allowed you to stay connected and involved with the lives of those in your social circle. However, when I graduate college and enter the workforce, what priority will Facebook have in my life? There’s no more reason to use it religiously – the lives of my college friends no longer have as much of an impact on me. Instead of maintaining relationships, I’ll have to concern myself with matters of more importance such as work, bills, and family.

In such, I suppose the professional social network LinkedIn would better suit my purposes once I become an adult. It’s far preferable to maintain corporate relationships between individuals instead of socialized ones that may share inappropriate details. Indeed, the average age of LinkedIn users is over 35 while Facebook users tend to range from the teens to early 20s. Judging from the revenue growth that LinkedIn has shown in recent quarters compared to Facebook’s less impressive statistics, it stands to reason that we may see the rise of the professional network in the near future over its social counterpart.

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