Are the kids onto something?

While I was reading Felicity Duncan’s -Why many kids are leaving social networks post I was intrigued by her discussion around teenagers wanting to move from a broadcasting presence online to more of a narrowcast presence. I wondered why are our kids wanting to share less with public but more with their inner circle or a chosen audience? Then I realized that perhaps this isn’t just a teenage thing. There are times that I would really like to share something with family and close friends but don’t necessarily want to share it with everyone I follow or that follows me on Facebook. Perhaps this is why I absolutely loved Casey Neistat’s video – Snapchat Murders Facebook!

Was Duncan onto something in her discussion of broadcast and narrowcast? I think she was! I came across an interesting info graphic in my online cruising this week that highlights the difference between the two a little more than the Duncan post, specifically explaining more along the lines of – what is narrowcasting?

broadcast and narrowcast

After this week’s readings I was really curious about where adults are spending their time on social media. I know that Amanda Lenhart touched on this in her Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015 article but I felt like I wanted to know more. Absolutely, there is a connection between where teens are and adults aren’t both online and in face to face relations but I wondered more about what adults were feeling about social media and how they were using it. I decided to do a little action research and see if I could find some information for myself. I have used Survey Monkey  in the past so thought I would try that again.

Helpful tip: If you are using Survey Monkey to create a survey you are only allowed to see the first 100 responses for free, from there you will have to pay a fee.

I created my survey posted it to my Facebook and Twitter accounts and awaited the results! I have put them together in an infographic for your viewing below. Survey Monkey and Piktochart work together to make it SO easy to take your results and create an easy visual of your results. A few dollars and I could have ended up with a clearer final image but this will work great!


For me the most interesting pieces of this survey were some of the responses in the final question. I asked respondents to share any thoughts or insights around social media that they might have and have shared a few of those in the infographic. It’s pretty clear from the data collected, that you are going to find most adults age 25+ on Facebook but interesting that quite a few are moving towards Instagram. A few of the responses indicated that adults didn’t want to miss out and wanted to stay connected. They also indicated that people didn’t like the complaining, individuals sharing every minute of their day and negativity.  My question I guess, why aren’t we taking a page from the teenagers around us? Being connected is great but why must we connect our everyday personal events with people that we hardly know? I think perhaps our teens are onto something in their move, as suggested by Duncan, from a broadcast social media presence to a narrowcast one.

That’s my thoughts for this week!



  1. Nicole,

    Interesting survey and information. I wonder with “narrowcasting” if what we are seeing is also determined by what the technology can now do? I wonder if what we are seeing is just a continued growth and change in how people use SM as the technology changes and morphs to meet the needs of people? Uber is a great example of technology being created to meet needs that now has to continue to change as it grows.

    A second thing is, although it feels like these technologies have been around since forever, they haven’t and it is now, with large numbers of people using the tools, that apps like Snapchat can be viable because there are enough people in small groups sharing. SM is now reaching enough people that such apps are able to tap into such things as crowd-sourcing funding to survive.

    Although I agree that teens are ‘narrowcasting’ because they want to share with a small cohort, there are other factors that are allowing this to take place which were not available previously therefore the options available were the open-public networks like FB & Twitter and people used what was available. As the SM & technology evolves it will impact the way we interact in a symbiotic-type relationship that changes with the changes in the technology.

    • I hadn’t thought of it that way Kelly and I think you make a good point.We use what’s available and when something comes along that better fits or needs/wants to give that a try. Thanks for the insight!

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  2. You raise a good point Kelly- it can be about what tech was available at the time and refining how we use it. I do appreciate the information in the blue graphic that gives a good overview of the differences between narrow cast and broadcast. I would add that email is an interesting one. Could it fall on both sides? It could be used to communicate with one person or a group as often threads develop via email. However, we also all have experienced the endless stream of junk emails, spam and emails from employers or organizations that apply to someone in the organization/ office, but not to us. This can lead to many emails bein deleted without being read and some important ones inadvertently missed/ deleted. I think we must be cognizant before we click reply all or forward to all on a distribution list to help address sending emails to individuals that do not apply.

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