The popular assumption is that social networking is for teenagers. The thing is, it isn’t.Â Data keep showing that it’s more popular with twenty-somethings.Â I’ve talked about this before, howÂ I believe people just out of teenagerhood like that it helps them feel like they’re still there.Â I have to wonder, though – does that mean that digital socializing is keeping people in an extended, artificial adolescence?Â (Even longer than helicopter parents. As if that weren’t enough.)Â And if they’re going to keep everybody a little stunted…
And I can see how they might. Really, as much as I love social media, and you know I do, what “social” skills do “social” media actually improve, except possibly the one-line comeback? And even then, they aren’t often very good.
…What repercussions is that going to have?
You have a lot of fun in your adolescence, but you’re also hyper-concerned about what other people think, pretty self-involved, and often, very dopey about how you and your concerns fit into the real world. That doesn’t sound so positive.
On the other hand,Â you’re also probably a lot more emotionally invested in your friendships and in the causes you feel deeply about than at any other point; teenagers tend to have all of the capacity and none of the cynicism or grown-up distractions. That’s not bad at all.
But for good or for bad, either way, social isn’t going anywhere, that much is obvious. So it’s worth thinking about.Â Are your social networking exploits keeping you young – and do you like that, or not?