Let’s talk about Facebook. More specifically, millennials and Facebook. As a generation, we’re obsessed. And for most of us, it’s caused some sort of problem at one point or another, whether in our relationships, our profession, or those times when we just can’t get stuff done because we got sucked in. Many of us don’t like it. And there’s nothing really wrong with the concept of Facebook — being able to share photos and comments with our friends and family is great — so why do we hate it so much?
It’s time to ask ourselves why millennials are so obsessed with Facebook.
To answer this question, I talked to millennials who deleted their Facebook more than 6 months ago. I wasn’t sure how many Facebook deserters I would find, but when I started asking around, most of my classmates knew at least one or two people. From the names and email addresses I collected, I found five participants:
1) A graphic designer, 23, who thinks Facebook is a lot of “drivel” and a time-waster.
2) An IT project manager, 25, who deleted his account four years ago to get rid of the relationship drama it was causing between himself and his girlfriend. They’re still together, so hey, if it works!
3) A business management coordinator in the healthcare industry, 23, who never really got into Facebook because it seems like a “gigantic waste of time.”
4) A marketing research coordinator, 25, who has a huge online presence but is questioning the validity and the productivity of our online actions.
5) The only other college student I found, another ad student like myself, 21, said she gave up Facebook for Lent one year and couldn’t get back into it. In her opinion, it’s much too interactive.
I only asked other college kids for my participants, so I thought it was weird that four of my five participants were already college graduates. And they’re all successful! Honestly I half expected to talk to a bunch of dirty hippies (no offense intended, you know who you are) or new-age organic vegan-types.
But no, these people have long business-like job titles and smartphones. And they have friends, too! Who knew?
The video above has a lot of the things those people told me, and from that and other articles and observations, I think I may have figured us out…
In my opinion, millennials have been at a disadvantage. We learned how great it is to share things online before we learned how great it is to do things offline. Henry David Thoreau once said, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” Thus far, millennials have been rewarded for being vain. But we’re learning.
So, to clarify, I don’t hate Facebook or other social media (in fact, I love it, I think it’s great), I just think we’re doing it wrong.