Taking to the Internet to express the angst of youth is a long-heralded pasttime that will no doubt be bequeathed to generations to come. Once there were the Xangas and the Livejournals of yore, but these days teens frequently flock to outlets like Tumblr and Twitter to subtumbl and subtweet their little hearts out about how unfair it is that their parents made them help carry in the groceries when they were like, right in the middle of something.
Decades of movies and television shows set in California high schools have given us certain expectations about what it’s like to be a teenager on the West Coast. Without getting too side-tracked in the thickets of stereotype, we’re envisioning beaches and bonfires and, at the very least, the occasional joint. (Also a little light vampire-slaying.)
Not Palo Alto, though. In Silicon Valley, high schoolers found startups. Feel bad about your wasted youth yet?
The New York Times stopped by Palo Alto High for a meeting of the Paly Entrepreneurs Club, where a bunch of kids who can barely drive and damn sure can’t drink are scheming on bright entrepreneurial futures:
Bad news, guys. The LA Times thinks Facebook might be losing its cool factor among the youth. And once you lose the teenagers, well, you’ve basically lost the Internet. That’s how it works, right?
Reports the Times:
With more than 900 million users, Facebook remains the most popular online hangout. But some young people are turning their attention elsewhere. They are checking out new mobile apps, hanging out on Tumblr and Twitter, and sending plain-old text messages from their phones. Their goal is to hook up with smaller circles of friends and share their thoughts and feelings away from the prying eyes of Mom and Dad.
Except, well, the numbers aren’t really there to support such a sweeping conclusion. Says one researcher: ”Just because teens are using other services like Twitter and Tumblr more — and they are using these services in huge amounts — doesn’t mean they’re using Facebook less.” Also, 93 percent of teens who use social networking sites have a Facebook account.