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How social media is used at different life stages

How social media is used at different life stages Kelly Jones


Today's teens are moving away from traditional social media channels like Facebook and Twitter and adopting more niche social networks that their parents are not using. Where are they going? Kik, Snapchat, and Instagram. These are more focused social networks and are seen as the new cool place to connect, while Facebook is seen as antiquated and cluttered.

This life stage is all about sharing experiences, general connection, validation, and engaging on platforms that aren't too mainstream. Photographs, videos, and updates are all ways teens expose their friends to their experiences.

Young adulthood

There has been a decline in blogging among young adults. Facebook and LinkedIn are the two networks they are leaning toward for their main social experiences. While this life stage is still about sharing experiences, professional development and personal connection are much greater motivators for social activity.

Early parenthood

This life stage is all about reaching out for help and feedback. Social usage becomes less about the age of the parent, and more about the age of the child. Parents (especially new parents) use their social networks to gather information on how to perform best as a caregiver. New parents use social media mainly to ask questions and get answers to adapt to their new role.

Late parenthood

These are adults whose children are grown and out of the house, or whose kids are mostly through their schooling. These parents find themselves with more time and want to give advice, rather than ask for it. They have been through the young adult and early parental life stages and now want to speak about their experiences. Blogging picks back up with this group. This life stage is all about giving advice and sharing past experiences.

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"Father and children using electronic devices at home" image via Shutterstock.

Kelly Jones currently heads up the global thought leadership research program at Microsoft Advertising, where she delves into the guts of human behavior and motivation in order to reveal new ways of thinking about engaging consumers within digital...

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