As the first generation of Redeemer parents who have teach their kids how to manage their digital footprint, parents of children and teenagers today have the challenge of understanding social media.  As Chap Clark coined in his book, Hurt, teenagers often choose to live in a “world beneath”  the adult culture and social networking is no different.  Here’s what you need to know about how teens perceive the various social networks.

Where everyone is…

Facebook – It’s the giant and it’s losing ground daily with teenagers.  While more teens use it than any other social network, their interest among teenagers is waning .  Facebook is for where you post things you would say in front of Grandma Jo.

Where teens are…

Twitter – The fastest growing social network today.  With only 140 characters, it’s a concise, accessible, and instantaneous way to share your current thoughts with others and hear what everyone from friends to celebrities to the POTUS is thinking.

Instagram – In many ways, it’s an image-based clone of Twitter.  However, you can only access it from a mobile device.  It has great image filters to make your amateur photograph admirable by the prevailing hipster culture.

Snapchat – It’s an image-sharing app that allows you to send your photo to other users, but it is only available to view for 10 seconds or less…except a recipient can screenshot the image and save it to their phone.  Lots of perceived security and harder to control.

As with everything in social media, it’s a fluid situation.  If you’re worried about not being able to keep up, here Rights are a few timeless tips to help you stay informed:

  • Google the name of the social network and see what Google suggests as the most popular searches before pressing “enter”.
  • Then press “enter”.  The top 10 results are telling…as well as the “news” filter on the search.
  • Read the reviews in the App Store…they never lie.