I'm 16 and I think all teens NEED Facebook
If you think teens aren't using Facebook anymore — that's simply not true. Teens in high school need Facebook, it's no longer a fad social network for us, but it is definitely a needed tool for connecting that we all use.
I saw 13-year old Ruby Karp on CNBC and read her blog post "I'm 13 and none of my friends use Facebook." Her argument is rather convincing: Facebook is not trending in her age group right now, so it's not entertaining for her to go on Facebook. She is right: Facebook is no longer a fad social network.
Teens always have a new fad social network they flock to. For my friends, we were all on a variety of small, short-lived social networks before we got into Facebook. And we got into Facebook when we were getting close to high school. I've always been pretty technical so I got on Facebook before most of my friends, when I was about Ruby's age. At the time it wasn't very exciting — or very useful. None of my friends had Facebook, so my newsfeed didn't bring me anything I wanted to see. But by the time I made it into high school, when I was 14 verging on 15, all of my friends started getting Facebook accounts. They started getting them to connect with the daunting social circles of high school.
Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Snapchat, and all the other fad social networks can be pretty fun and exciting, particularly for a 13- year old like Ruby — or my 14-year-old sister, who also uses these social networks. These fad social networks are good at what they do — they have one simple layout where you post one type of file, a photo for Instagram, or a small text blurb for Twitter.They are clean and easy to load. However, these fad social networks cannot replace Facebook.
Ruby and my sister will both need Facebook accounts when they hit high school. Almost every high schooler I know has a Facebook account. Facebook is no longer a fad, it is a necessary tool for connection. You cannot message people on Instagram, Vine or Twitter and you cannot post a photo album of your vacation or your 8th-grade graduation on them either.
We need Facebook to connect with many different groups. For example, my rowing team has a Facebook page that is used for posting changes in our schedule, videos of our rowing and anything else someone decides to post. I would not know when to go to practice or what time to meet at the boathouse for a race without our Facebook page. This is the number one form of communication for our team, like many other teams, clubs, and study groups in high school. Whenever I need to contact someone and I don't have their phone number, I message them on Facebook. I absolutely need Facebook for this.
So, Ruby's right: Facebook's not as exciting as it used to be. It doesn't have the appeal of a fad social network anymore. But as Ruby will find out as she gets into high school, where teenagers have to start taking charge of their own scheduling and connecting with many groups of teens outside of their immediate friend group, Facebook is a necessary tool for connection that fad social networks do not provide. That is why unlike Vine (which is already going way downhill in my friend group) or Twitter or even Instagram, Facebook is not a bubble that can be burst with changing fads. Facebook is a tool that all of my friends need, and will continue to need in the future.
And hey, if you want to connect with me, feel free to message me on Facebook!
— By William Davenport
William Davenport is a 16-year old junior in high-school from Newport Beach, Calif. He has been watching CNBC since he was 11. In his spare time, he enjoys rowing with his crew team and hanging out with his friends. Follow him on Twitter @WillBDavenport.
Disclosure: William has about 500 shares of Facebook in his college-savings account, though he doesn't control it — his father does.