High School Seniors and Social Media – The Real Scoop

You probably haven’t heard of Niche. In their words, they’re a company dedicated to amassing reviews and insights from everyday folks that make their audience’s big decisions more informed and easier to make.

They went to the trouble of interviewing 7,000 high school seniors about their web, social media, app and messaging usage, and published the results in a report titled Media Habits of the Class of 2014 this week.

teen-online-hidingRather than dissecting the entire survey, we thought we’d pass on some observations on some of the stats that we find interesting, and which could possibly be instructive for parents of teens. By all means, check out the full survey here.

Facebook – Contrary to recent rumors, Facebook is not dead or dying with teens. 87% of teens surveyed have a Facebook account, and 61% use it daily. In our experience, a large number of those 61% don’t use Facebook (any more) in the same way that adults do. Sure, they use it for messaging, and maybe for checking out potential mates, but Facebook isn’t where the action is.

Pictures and picture messaging – Where the action is. 66% of teens have used Instagram. 65% have used Snapchat, and engagement is very high. More than 70% of the teen users of both apps use them at least once per day.

YouTube – Still practically the only video show in town; definitely the predominant free service. 97% of teens have used it, and 55% use it daily. Many YouTubers use it largely as an on-demand free music service, when they want to hear a song without buying it. Netflix is big with teens too, though probably via their parents’ account.

LinkedIn – Only 8% of high school students have ever used LinkedIn. This is a number we’d like to see higher. LinkedIn is possibly the most efficient media outlet for putting your positive, employable self out there on the web. It’s free, easy to set up and ranks quickly and highly with search engines.

Teens don’t talk on the phone – 66% of respondents talk on their phone less than once a day. We have certainly seen this in our families. As a matter of fact, my wife and I might be the only people my teens ever talk to on their cell phones. Contrast this with text messaging: 87% of respondents text at least once a day.

What does it all mean? Well, if you’re the parent of a teen, say, in the 13 – 16 year-old range, this isn’t necessarily a reflection of what your kid is doing now, but may be an indication of what is likely ahead.

If this all seems foreign to you, we recommend taking what is always a prudent first step – talk to your teen. If you get the silent treatment, you can sign up for a convenient and confidential ThirdParent audit today.


Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

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