The Death of Facebook

Marianne Mihas We should have seen it coming. Friendster, MySpace, and now, Facebook. Each one had its rise to power, followed by its slow descent from popularity, always replaced by a young start-up. To the class of 2021, Facebook is completely foreign. For us, anyone who has Facebook is out-of-date. “It’s for old people, like 40 year olds,” says Liam O’Keef, a freshman. And he’s not wrong. According to Chron, the average age of a Facebook user in the U.S. is 40.5 years old, and under 10% of Facebook users are under the age of 18. Yet nearly all general student communication still happens through Facebook at Latin. Clearly, there’s a divide between the freshmen and the upperclassmen. Juniors and seniors typically seem to have a Facebook they use a lot, and maybe a Snapchat or Instagram to supplement their social media needs. “Facebook is just better,” Dean Melonides put simply. This is the way the many seniors think, arguing that Facebook is the best and most efficient way to communicate with large groups. The sophomores are in an interesting position, bridging the gap. “I only use [Facebook] for school stuff, otherwise I really don’t like it,” shared Clare Hardiman ‘20. The sophomore grade reps have a Instagram to spread news, rather than a Facebook. Most freshmen, however, only have a Snapchat and an Instagram, and probably rely on Snapchat the most for communication with their peers. Of the few who do have Facebook, the ones I spoke to said they only created an account to get free coins on clash of clans or something like that. Though the freshmen make fun of Facebook and statistics say that most Facebook users are far beyond high school age, it plays an important role at our school. Freshmen never know what’s going on in student government, clubs, sports, and affinity groups. Whenever someone says, “Check the Facebook,” we all just nod our heads and accept that we will never know what that illusive post contained. Even if one of us took the initiative and googled the school’s Facebook or Rodent Gov, we still would be denied access from seeing many of the posts. The only way we could see all Facebook content would be if we created an account that’s only use would be looking at school. No, it’s not difficult to create an account, but the whole point of the Latin Facebooks are so students can get announcements and information easily. Creating an entirely new account that freshmen would only use for the one purpose defeats the principle of using Facebook in the first place. The question now is who should switch? Well, neither probably will. Most likely, the upperclass will keep Facebook, and the freshmen will remain without. As the class of 2021 starts to take on more and more leadership roles, the school will probably transition to Instagram, or maybe even Snapchat, for general communication. In either case, the high school will probably face the same problem in a few years time. So unless one of these apps somehow remains popular for more than five or six years, the school will remain caught in the endless cycle of the changing mediums of social media.]]>