Acumen Insights

Coming of Age Online

A Facebook study of people ages 13-24 shows that “coming of age” has changed universally for youth around the world. Growing up today happens online and happens everywhere. Teens and young adults use social media to carefully craft how they want to world to perceive them, with the in-person experience having less value. For example, when youth have had a “really good day,” the first place they share it is on social media (30 percent), followed by face-to-face (22 percent) and text (11 percent).

The mobile phone is their lifeline as they mature, and 72 percent agree they can’t leave the house without their mobile. Another 60 percent agree they would give up their TV before relinquishing their mobile phones. But the always-on mentality has produced FOBO (Fear of Being Offline); 70 percent say they like to be connected to the Internet wherever they are and 46 percent agree they would feel lost if they couldn’t access social media.

With their immersion in social media, teens and young adults want to hear from brands in the medium; 53 percent say they like when brands speak to them via social media. But the bar for communication is high, with 72 percent saying they expect what brands share to be entertaining.

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