It’s no surprise that most of the iGeneration (people born after the year 1995) are fully immersed in the world of technology and social media. Being a part of the iGeneration myself, I can say that a large chunk of my teenage years are spent on social media platforms. It started with posting pointless photos on Facebook when I was too young to even have a Facebook, then slowly transitioned into Instagram. The Twitter app made a few appearances on my iPhone, and then of course, Snapchat took over.
While many of us under 22’s out there on social media don’t limit ourselves to just one platform, we usually have a favorite. If there’s one that we all spend the most time on, how do we choose it? What draws us iGeneration members to sacrifice hours in our day to social media? The answer isn’t simple because, surprise! Everyone’s different. But each platform does offer it’s own content, so we can pick and choose which one best fits our personal interests.
For example, Instagram is my go-to social media site and the amount of times I open the app in one day probably isn’t healthy. Why do I like Instagram? Because I love pictures. Pictures of my friends, pictures of fashion, art, models, cities, and so on and so on. People who couldn’t care less about other people’s lives probably aren’t as into Instagram as I am. So, they’re left with Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, LinkedIn, MySpace if they’re into talking to themselves, or anything else that’s trending at the moment.
Twitter is for people who are creative in a different way than those on Instagram, because users are producing content that’s actually funny, informative or interesting. So, people who want to put forth their ideas and people who enjoy reading those ideas use the app. And then there’s Snapchat. Ah, Snapchat… What have you done to our generation? I’d say a lot of us love to Snap because of the fast and easy connection to friends- A.K.A we don’t like to type. We’re lazy, OK?! Snapchat’s filters also make the social media experience more fun because we are quite narcissistic and do enjoy seeing ourselves with flowers on our heads or our smiles stretched out to our ears.
Although Facebook has far more users than Instagram at a striking 1.4 billion as of 2017, the iGeneration seems to be abandoning the site as the years go by. In fact, just 28.7% of all Facebook users were aged 13-24 in 2014. I personally use Facebook because all of my relatives use it, and it’s one of the only ways I can stay in touch with them and stay updated on their lives. However, I rarely check and post on the site, so it’s one of my least used social medias. So I have to ask myself, why is that? Well, since the largest age group on Facebook is 35-54, most people my age aren’t active on the site. We usually want the newest thing available so we can make it ours. And of course, we’re all using what our friends are using. Those might be the reasons why most of us are steering away from Facebook.
Truth is, I can’t say exactly how the iGeneration picks a social media platform, but I do know that it has a lot to do with personal interest and peer influence. A lot of us like to see pictures of our friends and other cool things, but we also want to make sure we’re being trendy and modern, so Instagram wins that battle against Facebook. We like humor and uncensored content that fits the 140 character limit? Twitter’s our guy. Sending selfies to friends and posting pictures of food without getting judged? Hello, Snapchat! It’s complicated and difficult to get this generation hooked to one platform amongst the many, but there are certain trends, as listed above, that can help capture our attention.