It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career

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Pew has taken a look at the habits of Facebook users and this graph, which shows that well over 1/3 of the 18-29 demographic plan to spend less time on Facebook in the coming year, is consistent with what I see with my daughter and her teenage friends. As soon as they all got iPhones, Facebook usage declined. There’s a lot of use of private Twitter feeds, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. And for one-to-one messaging, texting/iMessage still rules.

I don’t have a grand unified theory of why Facebook is no longer as popular as it once was with this demographic, but here are a couple of observations: Twitter privacy is easier to understand and control than Facebook’s, so if you want to broadcast the details of what you’re doing, and you don’t want “creepers” and parents to see, Twitter’s a better choice. If you want to send a dicey photo or video to someone, Snapchat erases it after a few seconds. Facebook keeps everything forever, or so it seems. Instagram’s photo sharing is better than Facebook’s, Pinterest organizes around interests rather than friendships (Facebook makes it hard to do that), and Grandma doesn’t use Tumblr, so she won’t see teenage emo posts there.

If you look at the conglomeration of socially connected apps on teenager’s iPhones, you’ll find that, together, they do everything Facebook does, but, individually, they do it better or more privately. This is Facebook’s big challenge. The older generation using it is a bit like AOL users in the 90’s: AOLers settled for a simplified version of the Internet because they didn’t have the time or energy to spend figuring out the real thing. Similarly, once Grandma has learned to Facebook, she’s done with social networking. Today’s teenagers are the first group for whom social networking is not a new part of life, so they’re just getting started.

Also, too: I haven’t seen a single non-iPhone smartphone in the hands of a teenage girl in my part of the world. I’ve seen boys with Android phones, but for the girls, there’s no other kind of smartphone.






97 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    Nobody uses Facebook anymore. It’s too popular.

  2. 2
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Facebook owns Instagram now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they turn it to shit as well.

  3. 3
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    It’s always been the case that there are better tools (individually) than Facebook. I haven’t done any other social media since LJ ( strangely never got a Twitter account).

  4. 4
    A moocher says:

    Oddly enough, I use facebook to keep up with other 50-something friends around the world; it is very useful for that purpose because most of the people I would want to be in touch with are already using it; this outweighs many negatives. I don’t doubt that the kidz these days use other tools. As with their grandparents, I have a dutiful job and waste enough time online as it is.

    Edit: also, txt quite a lot, although most of my peers don’t. But I don’t need an iPhone to do that. My bottom of the barrel Android device works fine for that.

  5. 5
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    FB is definitely going to be around, it’s just that people’s grandiose expectations will have to be revised. People just had bizarre ideas a few years ago that FB would totally dominate people’s communication/social networking. FB does a a lot of things, a lot of them rather mediocre. ,

  6. 6
    magurakurin says:

    If you want to see girls with Android phones, come to Japan. Plenty here.

  7. 7
    Alexandra says:

    No love for Google+? Heh.

    Interesting post. The thing with Facebook is that it’s where many of my friends and family are, many of whom are scattered across the globe. And you can’t throw together a group of photos in an album on Twitter, nor can you have a thread. However, at its most basic, it’s a place where I know I can contact people, if I have to. It’s useful to dip into once every few days, I guess.

    Gave up on Twitter, though. It’s a distraction, full of retweets and random web detritus… and its immediacy sometimes encourages the worst kind of posting. I’ve never missed anything important since deleting my Twitter account.

    My guess that iPhone takeup is higher in the US, than it is in the UK or the rest of the EU. They’re expensive over here, more suitable for the budget of people in their 20s upwards, rather than teenagers… maybe I’m getting old, but when I’m out and about, I’d rather not be glued to my phone, if possible.

    Edit: I’d also add, that regardless of age, calling people on the phone, unless it’s work-related, is becoming increasingly uncommon.

  8. 8
    Betty Cracker says:

    I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon with my teen daughter and her friends. Facebook is passe, having been replaced by the other apps you mentioned, and they all either have an iPhone or are pissed off that they DON’T have an iPhone.

  9. 9
    Cassidy says:

    You’re overthinking it.

    Twitter= mass text without the hassle of putting a list of phone numbers together. Pinterest is mostly popular among Mom’s and crafty people. Tumblr has more porn. The rest are niche tools that will probably be integrated into something else.

    FB use has declined because FB games are making mobile apps and they started trying to make money off of users instead of just advertising and that has taken some of the convenience out of it.

  10. 10
    Regnad Kcin says:

    Given “Droid” brand positioning, is anyone surprised at the way their demographic skews?

  11. 11
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    (Just wanted to start an Android-iPhone war here again, huh?)

    I think twitter works because you don’t have to have twitter installed in order to post to twitter. Facebook was novel, but a lot of times, the simpler the better.

  12. 12
    MikeJ says:

    Somebody should go back to FB’s model of requiring an edu address. They’d probably pick up 75% of the 18-22s.

  13. 13
    Kent says:

    As a HS teacher I too have noticed that it’s pretty much only the boys that are getting into the android phones. My guess is that it perhaps has to do with the gaming. The boys like the bigger android screens for lots of the games they play. Girls just aren’t into gaming as much and more into social networking.

    But that’s just a guess on my part. I suppose I can ask some of them and report back.

  14. 14
    Culture of Truth says:

    So 61% plan to spend the same amount of time on FB. Not so bad.

  15. 15
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Alexandra:

    I’d also add, that regardless of age, calling people on the phone, unless it’s work-related, is becoming increasingly uncommon.

    Texting is asynchronous: I don’t have to wait for you to pick up the phone before I send you a message. And about 80% of the stuff I need to tell you doesn’t need a long communication cycle in order to get it to you.

    My parents, in a fit to save $5 a month, decided to drop their unlimited texting plan. All of their kids tried to talk them out of it. Instead, though, we’re just communicating less.

  16. 16
    NonyNony says:

    @A moocher:

    Oddly enough, I use facebook to keep up with other 50-something friends around the world;

    Not so odd – the only reason I have a facebook account at all is because my mother kept bothering me to get a facebook account to share pictures of my son with her.

    From what I hear from my students, facebook is a lot like e-mail. It’s something “old people” use (and by “old” I mean “anyone over the age of 25”).

    Honestly I think that the thing that has driven most of the younger folks to look for alternatives to Facebook is that their parents are on facebook. Half of them don’t want to deal with the sticky question of “do I let my parents see the stuff I’m posting” and the other half don’t want to deal with the other sticky question of “OMG do I really want to see what my parents are posting?” So they keep a “clean” facebook feed to keep in touch with their parents and do their real socializing elsewhere (where their parents don’t have to find out about it).

    If that’s actually the case, then there’s always going to be a market for new social networking sites every decade or so to spring up :)

  17. 17
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Kent: I think some of it is the advertising. I would give a lot to have my phone fuse with my DNA.

  18. 18
    eldorado says:

    i’m spending the same amount of time as last year, i.e. zero.

    /is this one of those things you have to have a tv to understand?

  19. 19
    Walker says:

    @Kent:

    As a HS teacher I too have noticed that it’s pretty much only the boys that are getting into the android phones. My guess is that it perhaps has to do with the gaming.

    No, that is not it. The gaming industry shuns Android like the plague. It is too hard to make money if you are unknown (e.g. not Angry Birds). Game companies will tell you that the rule is to launch on iOS first and then (if you break out) move to Android. I have many, many students at mobile gaming companies and all of them care about iOS experience over Android experience.

    The advantage of the Android is that it supports the hacker culture. Which is even more niche than the gamer culture.

  20. 20
    magurakurin says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Just wanted to start an Android-iPhone war here again, huh?

    If mistermix didn’t (and I bet he did), hell, I will.

    I haven’t seen a single non-iPhone smartphone in the hands of a teenage girl in my part of the world.

    Apparently, opinions differ.

    Ultimately, in the eyes of today’s youth, massive popularity has watered down Apple’s coolness. “Teens are telling us Apple is done,” says Tina Wells of the youth marketing agency Buzz Marketing Group. “Apple has done a great job of embracing Gen X and older [Millennials], but I don’t think they are connecting with Millennial kids. [They’re] all about Surface tablets/laptops and Galaxy.”

    from a forbes article 1/9/2013

  21. 21
    Rich2506 says:

    Yeah, the big “does-it-all” vs the little, individual apps. I saw back during the 80s that Wordperfect had a big app that did database, spreadsheet and word processing, but that it had a lot of shortcomings and didn’t do everything well. I preferred my own “homegrown” office suite of Professional Write, Lotus 1-2-3 and dBase. The focused set of individual programs worked a whole lot better than the big “does-it-all” one did. So I don’t see it as at all surprising that a similar movement is occurring with social media.

  22. 22
    Alexandra says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Well, yeah, I get that. Texting in the UK took off years before it became big in the US, mainly because of the prevalence of cheap pay as you go phones… and also, because you’re not charged by your network to receive a text over here.

    My problem with email, texting and the like, is that it’s become so impersonal. I love to hear the sound of people’s voices. These days, people would rather post a happy birthday message on Facebook rather than pick up the phone, which is so sterile and lacking of any effort or emotional substance… and in some cases, it’s easier to dissemble and play people without talking to them, I guess.

    [/getoffmylawn]

  23. 23
    Walker says:

    @magurakurin:

    “Teens are telling us Apple is done,” says Tina Wells of the youth marketing agency Buzz Marketing Group. “Apple has done a great job of embracing Gen X and older [Millennials], but I don’t think they are connecting with Millennial kids. [They’re] all about Surface tablets/laptops and Galaxy.”

    And as soon as they start bothering to pay for apps, developers will care.

  24. 24
    raven says:

    @eldorado: I love it! Another “I don’t watch tv, I don’t do Facebook” like it’s some big fucking badge of courage. Who cares?

  25. 25
    magurakurin says:

    @Walker:

    The advantage of the Android is that it supports the hacker culture.

    well, it sure is easy to download mp3 files for free from an Android phone. Not that I have any experience with that, but I heard.

  26. 26
    magurakurin says:

    @raven:

    one of the best lines in Pulp Fiction

    Vincent: Pilot? What’s a pilot?
    Jules: Well, you know the shows on TV?
    Vincent: I don’t watch TV.
    Jules: Yeah, but you are aware
    that there’s an invention called television, and on this invention they show shows, right?

    clip

  27. 27
    Greg says:

    “but for the girls, there’s no other kind of smartphone.” Which pretty much sums up the entire topic, at least to me. You can pick out rational points from the muck, but in the end you’re just talking about fads and trends. Kids care about them more than old farts.

  28. 28
    jayboat says:

    @raven:
    LOL. My mom, in her infinite self-absorption, was defiantly proud of the fact that she had never been in a video rental store.

    It’s an odd personality quirk, imho.

  29. 29
    RobertB says:

    At my daughter’s volleyball tournament, it was all iPhone. I think a girl with an Android phone would be flat-out shunned*. Funny enough, that would be totally flipped with the developers I work with – it’s all Android over here.

    *might not necessarily be shunned, but it’s definitely 90% iPhone.

  30. 30
    maye says:

    My teenager & his friends have moved to Tumblr because their parents are not using it. Parents use Facebook.

  31. 31
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @raven:
    I don’t watch broadcast or cable, but I do watch Netflix and Amazon Prime. I consider both to be “TV” sans the bullshit and available when I have the time to pay attention. So, no badge of courage for me.

    Facebook is okay. I don’t use my account because I just don’t have a wide circle of friends or family with whom I want to share.

  32. 32
    Mikey B. says:

    @Walker:
    That is not at all true. Most games in the mobile market are are written using frameworks like Unity that are cross platform… Games and many non-game apps are released for Android, iPhone, Windows phone simultaneous….and what’s this whole “The iPhone Experience” contrived such that it using an iPhone is soooo much different than using an Android device?

  33. 33
    Walker says:

    @magurakurin:

    well, it sure is easy to download mp3 files for free from an Android phone. Not that I have any experience with that, but I heard.

    It is true that you have to do an out-of-mobile step (e.g. pull into iTunes on computer) to do this on iOS. The business sense of supporting this culture depends on whether you are trying to support your hardware market or your App market. Which is the really big question when it comes down to it.

    For example, the problem with Google is that they are more dependent on their App market. And they know they have major problems here (I have several students in those divisions as well).

  34. 34
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Walker: I think most phone app writers are like most book writers: Neither make enough money to live on unless they get that one thing that hits at the right time. I think phone app developers do it mainly because it’s fun for them to write them and because it’s something they can point at for a potential employer and say “I wrote that.”

    This is coming from someone who likes to write library code.

  35. 35
    raven says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: It’s what we fought for, choice. Hardy har.

  36. 36
    Walker says:

    @Mikey B.:

    Most games in the mobile market are are written using frameworks like Unity that are cross platform…

    Unity is catching on, and it is a wonderful prototyping tool. But it is in no way shape or form the majority (or even a large part) of the current market. Memory constraints make it infeasible for you to abstract resource management away on all but the most simple of games.

    Cross-platform tools generally mean in-house cross-platform tools.

  37. 37
    Cassidy says:

    Funny (to me) anecdote, I’ve become the photographer/ historian for my firefighter class and I was trying to come up witha way to disseminate all the pictures, as I knew I’d be taking a couple thousand. I wasn’t going to email or burn them to disk and I sure as shit wasn’t going to loan out my hard drive or hook one of their’s up to my computer, so FB became the only option. So I created a public group and told them where to find it. And one guy said something along the lines “I don’t have a FB, I’m a grown man.” and then proceeded to rant about how he doesn’t do social media stuff…because the last time he did it he got caught running around on his wife. I let it go because I didn’t want to get into it, but I started using FB to keep in touch with my family while deployed. it was an easy way to chat and see pics all at the same time since Skype and Messenger don’t always work very well overseas. I let it go, but it amused me that his reasons were so he couldn’t get caught easier. Why fuck around in the first place?

  38. 38
    dmsilev says:

    @magurakurin: Any survey which comes back saying that kids these days are “all about the Surface” is a laugh. Surface has been estimated to have sold well under a million units to actual users. Maybe that will pick up in the future, but for now it’s landed without a splash.

  39. 39
    Cassidy says:

    @RobertB: It’s a status symbol: “My parents bought me an Iphone”.

    Androids are relatively inexpensive.

  40. 40
    electricgrendel says:

    I don’t know if it has anything to do with it, but I chose an Android just because of size. I am 6’6″, and I can fit an iPhone lengthwise in my palm from the heel to the base of my fingers. I cannot at all imagine trying to text on that tiny little thing with my monstrous ogre thumbs. Even with my S3 I typo so much because I just mash the wrong part of the screen while texting. I don’t know if the the size of the iPhone has anything to do with any observed gender disparity in the ownership department but it’s basically the entire reason I chose an Android phone.

  41. 41
    Boots Day says:

    A survey asking people how much time they are going to spend on Facebook isn’t worth the pixels it’s printed on. I would have been surprised if people said anything other than that they wanted to spend less time on Facebook, since it’s largely perceived as wasting time.

    Whether they will or they won’t, who knows.

  42. 42
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @raven:

    If I had the choice, I’d shitcan my cable company (Time Warner). They will soon, if they haven’t already, raise our rates to pay for their acquisition of the rights to cablecast Dodger games. This surcharge will apply to all subscribers whether or not they actually watch the games.

    My wife and son both enjoy some of the stuff on cable so…

  43. 43
    magurakurin says:

    @dmsilev:

    yeah, well, it’s all just opinion. I wasn’t the front pager who claimed young girls only use Iphones. I have no doubt that is his experience. But it wouldn’t be his experience where I live. And over 53% of all phones in the States are using Android, so, somebody is using them. I guess it’s just all old people checking their Facebook.

    Apple products might be the best thing since blowjobs, but truthfully, I’ll never know because they cost too fucking much. Call me cheap, call me stupid, call me whatever, but you won’t be calling me on my Iphone.

  44. 44
    WereBear says:

    What I see among the “young people” is an increasing reliance on smart devices instead of a computer. Even an iPhone is cheaper than anything but a Netbook, and they see more use in a phone.

    I loathe Facebook, but many of my fans love it, so I maintain a presence there for their sake. It’s basically alt.net user groups with a graphical interface.

  45. 45
    Raven says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: I obviously wish there was an alternative but, when you are a sports junkie, there is none. What I really like is the fact that lots of non-sports people have to pay so I can get it! Xin Loi mofo’s!

  46. 46
    magurakurin says:

    @WereBear:

    but many of my fans love it

    wow, your fans? Who are you? Are you someone famous? (not snark, serious question)

  47. 47
    Jamey says:

    @maye: Completely different purposes. That’s like saying that kids no longer use spatulas; mustard on sandwiches is parent thing.

  48. 48
    FFrank says:

    Well it depends, for power geeks, Iphone makes the bucks but Samsung has phones that are making leaps above the Iphone for cheaper which makes me go for Android. When you can remote administer and look at other machines from your phone.

    I just got a Samsung Note 2 and the inner geek is psyched. And I don’t pay apple tax. Women just want something fashionable that works which is Iphone. But I have seen some of my women friends with top of the line Androids that are beating out Iphones for quality. Iphones are wonderful for stability though.

  49. 49
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Old people playing Farmville ruined Facebook.

  50. 50
    Cassidy says:

    Women just want something fashionable that works which is Iphone.

    This should go over well. I’ll be over here out of the way.

  51. 51
    James K. Polk, Esq. says:

    Quit facebook in 2007, way before my parents got on it.

    I just hated the way it made me feel. I didn’t want to feel jealous while I was stuck in an office and some person I didn’t really even interact with was traveling and having a blast. And I wanted to hear firsthand about what was going on in my people’s lives.

    It’s awesome to catch up with old friends I haven’t seen in a month or six and learn new things about them without first seeing their posts on what they have been doing.

    I did make a dummy account to look at pictures of my brother’s kid, though. It’s linked to one account, and has never had anything posted to it.

  52. 52
    Lee says:

    Same here, every girl on my daughter’s soccer teams has an iPhone.

    It is not so much that ‘they just work’ (as my daughter has slowly come to realize) it is that ever present peer pressure. They all have them, so they must all get them. There is also a lot of social rules that have been created surrounding the iPhone (e.g. not turning iMessage off) that keep the pressure up to get an iPhone.

  53. 53
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    @Cassidy:

    And there is no more rabid “label queen” than a teenage girl.

  54. 54
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Cassidy: As predicted, it’s going over great.

    I have never worshipped at the foot of the great turteneck, and my sense of style is hip for my midcentury vintage, but clearly ancient in terms of the iPhone target demographic. I also prefer function over style; hence, android was the obvious choice.

    Oh, and I’m a woman.

  55. 55
    Cassidy says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): It’s funny. I own an Iphone. It does what I need it to do and has cool distracting apps to waste time. It stores music for when I go to the gym. My more computer saavy friends own Android products and they do computery things on them.

    I have no idea what that means in a social context.

  56. 56
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    Any analyst that says Surface tablets are catching on is full of shit.

  57. 57
    cat says:

    I really tried to not take the troll bait. But

    The older generation using it is a bit like AOL users in the 90′s: AOLers settled for a simplified version of the Internet because they didn’t have the time or energy to spend figuring out the real thing.

    is so outrageously wrong I had to.

    Microsoft didn’t provide a TCP/IP stack as part of the base OS until Windows 95 SP1 in 1996. You had to pay for it the first several months by buying an addon or your OEM had to provide it to you.

    Lets pretend you did figure that out. Then you had to be lucky enough to have access to a local dialup provider as the big 3, compuserve/aol/GEnie, at the time didn’t provide access to the ‘internet’. Unless you count the email ftp gateways or gopher.

    There was a huge chicken and egg problem with the 90’s and the ‘internet’ which AOL et all helped bridge. There was no settling.

  58. 58
    Cassidy says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: Tell me more about them, please. I’ve been looking into getting one when I replace my laptop.

  59. 59
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    Also, too: I haven’t seen a single non-iPhone smartphone in the hands of a teenage girl in my part of the world. I’ve seen boys with Android phones, but for the girls, there’s no other kind of smartphone.

    Nothing convinces like anecdata, right?

  60. 60
    gex says:

    Honestly, Facebook’s attempts to monetize itself have hurt it.

    If people and pages can’t have any idea who will see which of their posts, if they feel like they have to pay to have their posts be visible, Facebook loses a lot of its appeal to the users.

    Every time one of my friends likes a corporate page, that prompts Facebook to put an inline ad in my feed. First of all, that’s annoying. Second of all, how is it that so many of my friends can’t believe that’s not butter???

    Trying to wrangle friends into lists is cumbersome. All the comics I know have the option of spamming everyone with invites to shows that may or may not be in someone’s area or not bothering. These are just some examples how the user experience is totally ignored by the Facebook team.

    What Facebook has is the head start and the fact that this is the sort of thing that requires one system only. The telephone system has to call every person. The social media system has to have every person. Having some people on Facebook and some on Google+ just doesn’t work.

  61. 61
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @cat: This. Back in the day, the big complaint about AOL becoming an internet gateway for AOLusers was that it let the non-geek proles in. Back then it was all USENET, irc, ftp, and Lynx. It was still possible to find the pr0n, though.

  62. 62
    gex says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: I was going to say…

    WTF? Girls are all like “technology is haaaaard”.

    It can’t be that someone who is even capable of positing a hypothesis like that (some vague idea about girls that must correspond to a preference for iPhones) would also be capable of selection bias that would confirm that point in his own mind, could it?

    Naw.

  63. 63
    Lee says:

    Microsoft didn’t provide a TCP/IP stack as part of the base OS until Windows 95 SP1 in 1996. You had to pay for it the first several months by buying an addon or your OEM had to provide it to you.

    I think your dates are off.

    I was using AOL in the early 90’s. By 96 I was off AOL and by 98 I was on broadband (cable).

    My 82 year old Dad just stopped using AOL maybe 3 years ago.

  64. 64

    I have never used Facebook or any other social media site. I have never missed it. People who want to get in touch can call me or email me. I have no interest in seeing someone’s nth baby photo or the 100 photos they took when they got married or went for a vacation.

    I remember when AOL used to send free CDs via mail. Never used AOL either. Had dial-up in the 90s via the school servers and good ethernet connection in my lab.

  65. 65
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Cassidy: Surface tablets come in two varieties, an ARM device running a stripped down version of Win 8, and the recently released Surface Pro, running x86 Windows 8. The former has gotten mixed reviews, and can’t run legacy (I.e. most) Windows apps. The latter is 900.00 starting out, and is really an ultra book/MBA competitor (keep in mind OEMs have also made Win 8 tablets, both ARM and x86). Ars Technicas review of the Surface Pro that came out today, by their MSFT guy, wasn’t very complimentary. Honestly an ultra book or MBA would be a better investment.

  66. 66
    cat says:

    @Cassidy:

    A) The numbers listed for total storage don’t include the OS or any features. So you can lose around 50% of your storage. Depending on how you feel about being shamelessly lied to thats a big minus.

    B) Previous Windows was not designed for a touch interface so if you need backwards comparability the user experience is going to be not pleasant.

    C) The cheaper versions aren’t binary compatible with your older Windows apps.

    D) If you go with the cheaper version you are rely on the MS App Store and you are now using the least populated app store, If you don’t count RIM, and so you app choices are very limited compared to Apple and Android.

  67. 67
    WereBear says:

    @magurakurin: I am a world famous Internet Cat Guru. (she said modestly)

    The Way of Cats

    Social media is now a demand of business, as well as personal.

  68. 68
    McJulie says:

    Facebook does one thing that drives me absolutely out of my tree: it will not simply show me all the posts in reverse chronological order. (Or, if there is a way to get it to do that, it would require spending waaaay more time wading through FB settings than I want to do.)

    Tumblr, Twitter, LiveJournal (remember that?), WordPress — all of these will do that one simple thing. FB instead tries to use some inexplicable algorithm to guess what I’m “most” interested in. This led to the ridiculous scenario where, as I scrolled down, I FIRST ran into the post that my brother had gone into surgery, and THEN ran into the later post that he had gotten out of surgery.

    STOP TRYING TO READ MY MIND FACEBOOK! JUST LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO!

    Also, FB provides a forum for people to endlessly invite me to play really stupid games and all that. FB is just irritating, and it becomes more irritating every single time they redesign it. But if I dropped it entirely I would never get invited to anything or see pictures of my nieces. It’s become a necessary evil, a chore, like doing the dishes.

    End rant.

  69. 69
    Cassidy says:

    @Amanda in the South Bay: @cat: Gotcha. I was really hoping to make the shift from laptop to tablet and was thinking the Surface because of the USB port and keyboard. I’m not a computer person, so a lot of what you said aren’t things I’d have thought of. Thanks.

  70. 70
    cat says:

    @Lee: What TCP stack did you use as a home user on Windows 3.1? It wasn’t one provided by microsoft. WinSock on wiki, which will have its history, you’ll see MS didn’t provide an implementation as part of the OS till Windows 95.

  71. 71
    maurinsky says:

    @magurakurin:

    Same here – I do own an iPod, but it’s an older model that I bought refurbished. I still have a stupid phone, and so does my teenage daughter. We both prefer texting to talking on the phone. She has a Facebook page but barely uses it, she encourages me to look at her Tumblr (with a caution about the language I might encounter) but has strongly, strongly let me know that she would prefer I didn’t start my own Tumblr. I was on Facebook pretty early on for an oldster, because I went back to school and had an .edu e-mail address.

  72. 72
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @cat:

    Trumpet Winsock, oh yeah! As an early employee of EarthLink Tech Support I spent many happy hours on the phones helping non-technical users config Trumpet.

  73. 73
    DanF says:

    mistermix – When we were young and left home for college/work/marriage/adulthood, we left high school behind. We only stayed in contact with those high school friends that we truly had something in common with. FaceBook makes that difficult to impossible. Easier to just drop it like a sock.

  74. 74
    cat says:

    @Cassidy:

    If you want to pick the right computing platform you need to look honestly at your latent needs.

    I did not own a smart phone till 2010 even though I used to code for them. I still don’t own a tablet, try navigating between 30 open webpages on one! I have a very expensive laptop I use 20 hours a week or more.

    My wife is the opposite, had a smart phone much earlier then I. Uses her tablet constantly at work, home, traveling. Has a very expensive laptop powered off 95% of the time.

    Conduct a self ethnographic study for a week. Note down when you wish you could do something but can’t because your computing device isnt present, out of battery, or unable to complete the task at hand.

    Order the tasks by which you could give up in order to have the one above it and then pick the device which satisfies the needs and is within your budget.

  75. 75
    cat says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:
    Happy??? lol. :-0

  76. 76
    Lee says:

    @cat:

    It was AOL (as I mentioned) for the early 90’s. The reason I remember being off AOL by ’96 is that is when my first was born.

    I honestly don’t remember the ISP but I do remember I was gaming with the other guys from work (over the internet) prior to that and when she was born gaming was over for a while.

    I do remember installing and configuring WinSock and having to fiddle around with it depending on the game we were playing.

    But the comment still makes sense. The reason why so many people were still using AOL was because it was very easy to do. By ’98 and broadband, you also had ‘easy to use’ internet yet AOL still persisted.

  77. 77
    Origuy says:

    “Teens are telling us Apple is done,” says Tina Wells of the youth marketing agency Buzz Marketing Group. “Apple has done a great job of embracing Gen X and older [Millennials], but I don’t think they are connecting with Millennial kids. [They’re] all about Surface tablets/laptops and Galaxy.”

    Any guesses which accounts Buzz Marketing has and doesn’t have?

  78. 78
    300baud says:

    I think people are reading too much into that graph. Nobody ever said, “Boy, I want to spend more time on Facebook.” That has never stopped Facebook from engineering it so that people spend more time on Facebook. I’m sure you’d see a similar graph if you asked people about how much McDonald’s consumption they intend to have next year.

    The social dynamic people mention in the comments, though, is really interesting. I especially appreciate the reports from teachers and parents!

  79. 79
    catclub says:

    @Culture of Truth: I also have no idea how much lying is involved. I could imagine a check next year showing more actual use than predicted.

  80. 80
    Matt McIrvin says:

    AOL really did serve a purpose in the early days of dialup Internet: as others have said, it was the only easy one-stop way to get dialup working in the days when OSes didn’t come with a TCP/IP stack as standard equipment. If you had AOL, you had a means of downloading the software to get some other kind of connection. But in the meantime, it’d work.

    But people got stuck there. I remember reading a news story a few years ago to the effect that a significant number of people still using AOL then were elderly folk who actually had broadband Internet connections, and didn’t know it: they still connected to AOL through dialup, because they knew how to do it.

    Anyway, that’s Facebook now. It’s a different service in every era. I use Facebook mostly to keep in touch with my extended family, but that also means it’s the place where I see all the pictures of text about how I need to love Jesus/hate Obama/love Obama.

    Meanwhile, Google+ may not have found a mass audience, but I find that it’s developed a nice vibe reminiscent of the better parts of Usenet circa 1994. If you’re interested in talking about science or mathematics, it’s the place to be.

  81. 81
    TooManyJens says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Trumpet Winsock, oh yeah! As an early employee of EarthLink Tech Support I spent many happy hours on the phones helping non-technical users config Trumpet.

    I’m having flashbacks to my first job after college, with a local ISP. Man, what a hive of fucknuttery that place was.

  82. 82
    divF says:

    @magurakurin:

    Apple products might be the best thing since blowjobs, but truthfully, I’ll never know because they cost too fucking much. Call me cheap, call me stupid, call me whatever, but you won’t be calling me on my Iphone.

    This reaches almost S.J. Perelmanesque heights.

  83. 83
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @cat:
    Happier than I was trying to help Mac users configure Open Transport 1.2.

  84. 84
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Because Facebook is shit. Everything they’ve done in the past year, from aesthetics to asking me how I’m doing in the status bar has made it worse. I hate everything about FB and rarely post there these days.

    In addition, Twitter is real-time and lively – Facebook is slow and not as interactive. If part of social media is being actually social, Twitter wins hands down.

  85. 85
    R-Jud says:

    80+ comments and nobody has given you love for the Belle and Sebastian reference in the title? I woulda thought BJ had more twee lovers around the place.

  86. 86
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    I only log into facebook every couple weeks to make sure the messages folder is updated. Everything else I aggregate via Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to it without logging in to the actual site. Twitter I use almost daily in addition since it’s more real time and hasn’t got someone else’s fingerprints all over it trying to determine what I should read.

  87. 87
    different-church-lady says:

    @Culture of Truth: The real way this will actually break is 10% will stop using it altogether and 100% of the remainder will use it more than ever.

  88. 88
    Tractarian says:

    @R-Jud:

    B&S FTW.

  89. 89
    different-church-lady says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    Everything they’ve done in the past year, from aesthetics to asking me how I’m doing in the status bar has made it worse.

    There’s are reasons for this:
    a) the reason FB grew into a colossus that strode the earth was because of the overwhemling buzz. People used FB because they heard other people buzzing about FB.

    b) Over time, people stop buzzing. The only way to get them to keep buzzing is to keep your product in the news. The best way to keep your product in the news is to change something.

    c) Keep changing stuff over the course of years and eventually you run out of stuff to change.

    d) Create a dynamic where you have to change thing for the sake of changing them and eventually you end up changing all the stuff people first liked about the product.

    Because the end users don’t pay for any of this, FB doesn’t care whether your experience is any good. As long as you continue to be raw material for their data mining operation the human bits of your interactions with them are insignificant.

  90. 90
    different-church-lady says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Happier than I was trying to help Mac users configure Open Transport 1.2.

    Hell, I used to make good lunch money doing that. Ran a little “guru” biz on the side. Had a whole routine that explained how the bits and pieces fit together that laypeople could understand. Pulled wires thru walls and got the three family PCs wired up to the single cable modem. Heck, I could get your dial-up connection split between multiple computers when there was no broadband in your area.

    And then OSX and Airport came along and ruined it all.

  91. 91
    different-church-lady says:

    @Origuy:

    Teens are telling us Apple is done

    Who’d they ask, Michael Dell’s kids?

  92. 92
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Remember when Macs went from 68000-series to PowerPC, and only maybe about a third of the OS had been ported over to run natively there, but OpenTransport was actually running under an emulator and crashed all the time? Good times, good times.

  93. 93
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …A little later, they took care of that, but I had Verizon DSL which required running Verizon’s crappy PPPoE software whenever the connection was up, and because Mac OS 8/9 didn’t have preemptive multitasking, it dragged system performance down to a crawl.

    That was the reason I leapt at the chance to run Mac OS X even though I was using a computer on which the first release barely ran. OS X came with PPPoE support built in, and since it was basically NetBSD, it could actually deal with running the thing in the background.

  94. 94
    different-church-lady says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I remember it well. One of the 5 things that almost killed Apple.

    Let’s see if I can remember all 5…

    1) Type 11 errors every 5 minutes in OS 7.5
    2) Death of Copeland
    3) 5300 shitty hinge construction (I opened one up one day, looked at how the hinges mounted to the screen, and said, “My god, are they idiots?”)
    4) Can’t remember…
    5) Can’t remember…

    Yeah, believe it or not, Apple when through a phase where they could do no right, in contrast to the past 5 years when they could do no wrong.

  95. 95
    Yutsano says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I just…can’t limit myself to 140 characters. Not to mention the vast majority of Twitter I find inane. I’m not saying Book of Faces is much better, but for right now no tweeting for me. My guess is as soon as I get involved it’ll be passé and we’ll all have moved on.

  96. 96

    @Amanda in the South Bay: I was just gonna say! And HS kids thinking Mister Softee products are cool? I don’t think so, no matter what generation.

  97. 97
    Ramalama says:

    I guess more boys link Droid phones to robots, as in ‘I have an android in my pocket’. Me, I was computer crazy and robot crazy and a girl. A few times as a youngster I played this game of football at my father’s office where the computer was the size of a big old wooden desk and the plays came out in text. “Fourth down, and 3 on the 56th” and I would like in a command to either punt or go for a field goal or play it. No visuals, just words. So exciting.

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