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Facebook Use Declines Among U.S. Teenagers, But Remains Very High

Facebook elderly

The percentage of Facebook users among teenagers aged 13 to 17 in the U.S. fell six percent last year, according to a recent poll, although Facebook and its properties are still widely used by teens, a report said.

The poll by Frank N. Magid Associates found that the percentage dropped from 94% in 2013 to 88% in 2014, continuing a drop in recent years, The Motley Fool (TMF) said.

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Teenagers haven’t completely abandoned Facebook, and in fact the percentage is over 88% if all of Facebook’s properties are included, the report said.

One problem with the poll is that it does not account for users who create Facebook accounts to take advantage of properties such as Facebook Messenger or Groups. Teens are largely turned off by Facebook’s cluttered Newsfeed, but still use it to find and connect with new acquaintances via Messenger, the report said.

Forty percent of teens polled said Facebook Messenger was their preferred messaging app, beating Apple’s iMessage and Google Hangouts. Another 9% said they prefer WhatsApp, which Facebook bought last year, giving the social-media giant nearly half of the booming messaging market among teens, TMF said.

So Facebook is still widely used by teens. Even if they’re not “liking” items in their Newsfeed, they’re still providing plenty of data for Facebook to eventually monetize across its constellation of apps. In fact, Facebook still owns the most popular social network among teens, the report said.

The most recent installment of Piper Jaffray’s semiannual Taking Stock With Teens survey showed that 76% of the U.S. teens polled use Facebook’s photo- and video-sharing service Instagram. That’s more than any other social network, TMF said.

Meanwhile, new research has found that using Facebook may affect one’s health, Design&Trend said.

One of the effects found from Facebook usage is lower self-esteem, especially with active undergraduate students. Among older students, Facebook improved social adjustment, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project.

However, social media can make people of all ages more anxious. A few studies have linked Facebook to increased anxiety with the culprit being when you compare your life to other Facebook friends or when you haven’t checked your notifications for a while. Facebook also makes it a bit more difficult to recover from a breakup, Design&Trend said.

Another research found that users of the social network had another thing in common.

“Facebook users are more likely to be extroverted and narcissistic, but they also have stronger feelings of family loneliness” than nonusers, according to a study from the journal Computers in Human Behavior, the report said.

Despite being a social network designed to connect everyone, it does not do a good job of doing so. Narcissism has been linked to increased cortisol, a stress hormone and possible cardiovascular problems, Design&Trend said.

But not all Facebook users are narcissists. The fact is that the amount of time spent on social networks is valuable time that can be spent elsewhere. If the average person spends 40 minutes on social networks, that’s over six hours each week. That totals 20 hours a month. 20 hours that you can spend doing something else like exercising or learning a new skill, the report said.

So you may want to log off every now and then or disappear from the social networks every now and then. It may be better for your health, Design&Trend said.




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