These days, kids are clicking away on the internet, but more and more, it's away from the prying eyes of mom and dad. The trend is leading to a major shift away from the most popular social media site ever. Surveys show Facebook popularity is shifting elsewhere.
CBS47's Lemor Abrams has been exploring where kids are going online to escape.
Young people helped make Facebook the most popular social media site out there, but then their parents signed on and discovered the benefits of liking and commenting, making their kids private social media lives suddenly very public. Those kids have now gone on to other sites, that most people over the age of 30 may not even be aware of.
From posting pictures, to updated statuses, to uploading videos -- kids are crazy about hanging out online.
Facebook started as a place for college students to interact and share every aspect of their lives... out of the prying eyes of mom and dad. Facebook eventually opened up its site to everyone, including mom dad and even grandparents too. Facebook is now home to one billion users, but its overwhelming success could also be the cause of its downfall among the young.
17-year-old Stasia Salinas said, "Most started on MySpace, some jumped over to Facebook when MySpace stopped being cool. Same thing for Twitter, same for Tumblr."
Stasia is student enrolled at Fresno’s Center for Advanced Research and Technology. She's still on Facebook, but it's no longer her number one social media choice. Her favorite is now Tumblr, which is known as a microblog.
On Facebook, users stream their experiences using photos and comments. Tumblr is more like a personal blog. Users not only post what they do, but also post videos or thoughts attached to those experiences.
Stasia has two Tumblr accounts. She has a personal account and then a second one class that is about same sex marriage. She shares catchy quotes and links on propositions and activists. "Our goal is to keep people as open minded and unbiased as possible," said Stasia.
Stasia's friends also have their own blogs and teacher Bethany Wielicki monitors what they're saying. "The blog allows people and students to discuss their academic perspectives and analyze a number of different things. The comment allows students to comment so you can also start a dialogue between creator and viewers," said Wielicki.
Other teens and young adults are using a site called Reddit. Reddit is similar to a traditional online forum, except this one helps users push traffic to their own website, blog, or twitter account.
Both Tumblr and Reddit are similar to Twitter, which older users are more familiar with, but young people still rule.
We tracked down twitter user "heyit'sremi!" 14-year-old Remi Lee is up to 18,000 Twitter followers and growing. We wanted to know how she managed to get that many people to follow her... so we followed her.
A couple years ago, after suffering health problems related to her colon, Remi started tweeting about everything from Justin Bieber's latest hit, to his concert visit to Fresno… and all in less than 140 characters at a time. "I tweeted one time and he (Bieber) retweeted me and it was like the craziest thing. I just started running around my house and screaming he retweeted me! Fact that he saw mine was insane," said Remi.
It got to the point where Remi was spending more time on Twitter than Facebook or her personal blog. She says she uses Twitter to connect with fans and friends... not family. Her mother and father are okay with her using Twitter. "She's always been driven. When she decides she wants to go for something she does," said Remi's mother, Roxanne.
But not all parents are as easygoing about their kids' techie lifestyles.
We talked to Anne Collier, via Skype, to learn more about kids' web habits. Collier is a web safety expert on Facebook's advisory board and editor of Net Family News. While older users are most comfortable using just one social media site, collier argues that kids today are comfortable communicating on various platforms. "Unlike any other time in history, kids everyday socializing can be followed, monitored by whoever. So more and more, they are just kind of looking at hanging out with each other and experiencing their own social experiences," said Collier.
Collier also served as co-chair of the Obama administration's online safety and technology working group, which delivered a report to congress about youth safety on the internet. She says kids are growing up like they normally would, but it's happening in another setting. "All the things that teens have always needed to do, including risk assessment, identity exploration and growing up, is happening online... and that's why you see some of them moving into other services and sites and trying new ways to socialize that isn't under the watchful eye of parents all the time," said Collier.
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