The Way the Next Generation Use Social Media Will Surprise You
If you’re anything like us, this is a little preview of what your social media usage looks like: Snapchat features an occasional sneak peek into your daily escapades (when it’s worthy) or fancy Friday night post-work cocktail, which will then also potentially be posted on your Instagram Story, while FaceTime is used purely to communicate with friends and family who reside in faraway locations.
Does this sound about right? Not according to Gen Z. It seems those born between 1996 and 2010 have a very different idea of how to use our favourite communication platforms. Business Insider Australia spoke to three teenage girls about how they use social media with their friendship groups and it’s safe to say our minds were blown. Here’s what we learnt about how the kids these days communicate via social media.
Gen Z take Snapchat very seriously—allow us to introduce you to “KTS” aka “keep the streak”. Every day, users send Snapchats to their friends and see how many days they can keep it going for. “Every morning I send a KTS to people on my streak list,” says Katie, 17, who kept a KTS going for 478 days straight with a friend. Adding, “we Snapchat each other every day.”
Snapchat is so ingrained in their everyday lives that they exchange “Snapchat” codes at parties rather than mobile numbers—welcome to 2017.
It seems Generation Z are very strategic when it comes to Instagram. Firstly, they would never post their Snapchat content on Instagram, and forget about Instagram Stories altogether. “Instagram Stories are pointless”, says Liv, 17. “Nobody uses them unless you’re famous. It’s trying to take over Snapchat and they’re not going to. Snapchat is too big.”
Not only are Instagram Stories a no-go, but so is posting to Instagram without your friends' approval, or outside of prime time (7.30 p.m. to 8.00 p.m.). “When you’re out you take photos and then when you get home you have to post them—you have to wait until ‘prime time’ to post,” says Liv. “You would never post a photo without consulting your friends,” adds Katie. And of course, once the photo is posted, they will then Snapchat their friends to let them know so can “like” it.
While we’re using FaceTime on the odd occasion to chat to a friend or family member we haven’t seen in weeks, months, or years, Gen Z are FaceTiming their friends at night, albeit having spent the day with them at school. “Most afternoons I will end up FaceTiming someone, it’s a bit more personal, rather than a call over the phone,” says Amelia, 18, who admits that they don’t even necessarily need to be in an egaged conversation. “We might not be talking all the time. We might be doing homework together and not saying anything but then I’ll be like ‘Hey, what did you get for this question?'”
Forget about it. “People don’t use it [Twitter], unless you’re a fan girl and want to message famous people,” said Katie.