Since Facebook’s skyrocket to success eight years ago the social media juggernaut has been losing its foothold on the popularity it once had among the 18-25 year old demographic.
Part of this negative trend in Facebook’s popularity is due to older relatives. Kyle Lenard, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, says that both of his parents have Facebook.
“It bothers me sometimes because I feel like I can’t have an online private life. I never post statuses or pictures my parents wouldn’t want me to because I know they would see them,” Lenard said.
Lenard admits that it is an easy way to stay connected while away from home, but at the same time it can be a nuisance.
“It’s nice to communicate when I’m at college and an easy way to keep in touch, but I absolutely hate it when they comment on pictures or the few statuses I do have,” Lenard said.
Jess Brito, a junior majoring in education, does not mind the fact that her fiancé’s mother has a Facebook profile.
“It doesn’t bother me that parents have Facebook. I think as we get older we become closer to our parents because they begin to accept our ‘college behavior.’ I usually don’t even think about it before I post things, although I do refrain from cussing or posting negative things because I am friends with my pastor,” Brito said.
Brito also likes being able to share photos on Facebook to show family.
“I think communicating with them through Facebook is useful. Sharing photos, videos and statuses is fun and a way to engage our parents in technology,” Brito said.
Brito says that there really is not anything on Facebook that she would not want her parents to see.
“I feel like the age I am is the age where everything is out in the open with parents. They know what it was like to be our age, and they accept it. I think by letting them view your Facebook it creates a trust with them. They can see what you’re up to and assure themselves that you are having safe fun. It’s a way to build onto the relationship we have with our parents,” Brito said
Although Brito does not have a problem with parents and relatives viewing her Facebook, she does admit that it can get aggrivating at times and can understand why others would be against it.
“Sometimes relatives find it necessary to comment on everything, and it does get annoying, but for the most part, in my family I have not had this issue,” Brito said.
Danielle Arndt, a senior majoring in healthcare administration, does not mind at all that her mom and aunts have Facebook profiles.
“It doesn’t bother me when my relatives comment on my photos or my statuses. I have nothing to hide,” Arndt said.
Older relatives may not be a bother for most users, but the commercialism of Facebook as a corporation is causing skepticism. On Sept. 6 of this year, Facebook purchased competitor Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock.
The reason why is not because Facebook needs users, as it currently has well over 800 million profiles. It seems to be because Instagram, a mobile-based social platform, has been growing rapidly in popularity since its introduction in October of 2010.
Before the acquisition, Instagram was comprised of 13 employees and was offered as a free app, created not for profit. It claimed no rights over any content—including any text, files, images, photos, video, sounds, musical works, etc—according to the Instagram website, and had strict privacy and usage policies. It now belongs to Facebook, which has been criticized as having unclear and vague privacy policies.
Rachel Pukall and Andy Davis