Recent self-analysis by social networking giant Facebook, as well as external statistics, suggests that they are losing significant numbers of users in the teen demographic. Competing websites and applications like Instagram and Snapchat are increasing as teen users defer to the more open sharing opportunities available there and in other applications.
The gerbil wheel of popularity has apparently rolled away from Facebook among teens and, as a demographic with a strong group culture, they want to be (even digitally) where their friends are, and their friends aren’t on Facebook. Facebook is where parents and siblings live. Amazing as it seems for a website that is less than a decade old, it’s out of date with young people who have spent most of their infancy and childhood attached to some form of technology or other.
Facebook also bears the stigma of being the place where online bullying happens and that, too, is hard to shake, though Facebook isn’t the sole cause of a culture of bullying (Kelly Clay, “Facebook Is Losing Teens, And New Privacy Settings Won’t Bring Them Back,” Forbes.com, October 19, 2013).
Truth and trends
Trends are an uncertain wave and guiding your life by them is a recipe for emptiness. Yet they are all around us and seem to come and go at light speed in this age of digital information. But here’s the thing, God knows His human creation well and inspired His prophet, Daniel, to predict these things.
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase,” (Daniel 12:4 Daniel 12:4But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
American King James Version×).
Knowledge, or at the very least, information has certainly increased since the beginning of the Internet and will continue to do so exponentially in the coming years. We definitely “run to and fro” via plane, high speed train, and automobile.
So, what to think of trends like the great Facebook migration? Understand what the trends are, but don’t be defined by them. Stay your own course and be true to God’s word.