It’s true: teens are fleeing Facebook in ever increasing numbers. But the ones that are left, are offering some fascinating insights into their thoughts and state of mind.
Researchers spent time analyzing Facebook updates from 70,000 participating Facebook users to look for patterns. What they found was an interesting correlation between age and the use of certain words.
As expected, often used words for teens are school, homework and bored. Unexpected ones (at least for me) were words like tomorrow and certain emoticons. The differences between teens and young adults (a term I dislike by the way, especially when referring to 23-29 year olds – those are adults!) are striking. The latter write a lot about work and alcohol pops up more than you’d hope.
Even more interesting are the differences between girls (women) and boys (men) in all age groups (click on the image to expand).
Where teenage girls write about their hair, their dress, a boyfriend and a lot of emotions, guys write about epic stuff, guitars, and YouTube. Didn’t see that one coming, did you? Striking is also the often mentioned word ‘gay’ here, I wonder in what context that is being used.
Research like this offers a revealing insight into what occupies the minds of teens. Sure, their Facebook statuses are filtered, especially when mom and dad are also on Facebook. But still, analyzing teen’s updates on social media can offer us valuable insights to what matters to them. I for one hope more research like this will be done.