danah boyd, a professor at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, argues that teenagers closely scrutinize what they share online because it is a way for them to negotiate their changing identities. In her book, It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens, she describes how teenagers carefully curate their feeds based on the audience they are trying to reach.
Adolescents have been migrating away from Facebook and Twitter over the last few years, showing preference for sites like Snapchat, Whisper, Kik, and Secret that provide more anonymity and privacy. Part of this transition can be explained by the fact that the older social media sites stopped being cool when parents joined them, but perhaps another reason could be that teenagers growing up in the post-Snowden era implicitly understand the value of anonymity. For teens, it’s not a matter of which platform to use, but rather which works best in a particular context.