Over-equipped, over-connected, multi-networked, multi-accounts and multi-personae, 11-13 year olds are already clandestinely occupying their elders' networks. This new post-digital generation was born with social networks full in the head and with a smartphone grafted onto their hands. Welcome to the world of #BornSocial.
The smartphone's dubbing
Mut what are 11-13 year olds doing on social networks? Although the minimum age required to join is 13, most of these native socialites, who obviously lie about their age, have even better control over this socialization than their elders. With college entrance comes the first telephone, an almost sacred rite of passage that marks the beginning of independence. If "first phone" rhymes with security for mom and dad, it mostly means web access and likes plenty for a pre-teen. Because for social natives, the first phone is no longer a 3310 with a customizable shell, and Snake is no longer a playground must-have. Today, when we speak first phone, we systematically speak smartphone: by giving their children their iPhone 4S, parents open the doors to the Internet, hyper connectivity, millions of applications, messaging, online games and social networks.
Facebook, the place-not-to-be
What's the difference between an adult and a pre-teen? Same Stan Smith, same apple addiction, but a significantly different use of social networks. First of all, if they were born at the same time as Facebook, the 11-13's are abandoning him. Facebook may well be the social network of reference for adults (your boss is on it, your mother is on it, your neighbour, your office colleagues and that slightly odd cousin of yours who you're not sure about, but it's not the only one. stalke are there), these little web stowaways remain rather fierce. Their parents probably posted their baby trogne, but they see in this dinosaur a platform that crystallizes all the drifts of the web community: complicated, and not very secure. Not sure if they've picked up on the tragic news of online harassment, but Facebook is nonetheless, for them, the symbol of it. And then, as they say, "there's no one on Facebook"...
I am what I like
Snapchat is their MSN, Instagram, their Skyblog. Messaging for real friends on one side, public expression platform on the other. The strong points of these platforms: they are mobile and visual. This is the trend that this early generation promises in the years to come: the power of the smartphone combined with the power of the image.
Out of eight million Snapchat users in France, 600,000 would be under 13 years old. That's 7% of young people under 13 years old who squat on the platform to stay close to their friends. It has to be said that the funny filters that disfigure, sublimate or force features channel their appetite for fun and allow them to set up a private and restricted social network - as if they had innately learned to guard against the dangers of the public nature of the web.
Instagram heels the little ghost on a yellow background. In a class of 5ème, they are a big twenty to have one or more accounts. Unlike their elders, they complement the classic use of the social publishing platform with a pure social network use, with for example the creation of class discussion groups.
But Instagram is above all the place of the public projection, the place of the exhibition, a vector of expression of virtual narcissism. With a little hindsight, it is the only network that brings together the three main uses of the youngest: first conversation, since they hijack the application using its messaging; then entertainment, since it is the network on which they watch short, funny videos, or follow their idols; and finally exhibition, both in the posts they publish, then delete, and in those they like.
Instagram goes beyond trendy, foodporn, fashion and travel to reach the hearts of a new audience. With Instagram, Facebook has bought itself a future.
Youtube, TV 2016
Feeding on Youtube videos, which they see as free and accessible on-demand TV with an infinite number of channels in line with their expectations, the youngest are glued to their screens and drink the words of their web idols. The problem is that it is not always this audience that their idols address. While the question of parental control obviously arises, parents can't control everything: when youtube users are communicating with advertisers, they need to keep in mind the real, and not just desired, average age of their followers. Norman, Cyprien, Squeezie and others must be vigilant: a large proportion of their viewers are no older than 11.
What's next ? Musical.ly
A cross between selfies and karaoke that allows the user to record a 15-second video in which he coordinates the movement of his lips with the lyrics of a chosen song, accompanied by a homemade choreography, Musical.ly is the next box-office hit announced. Mark Zuckerberg talks about it, the kids have adopted it. So have the stars. Beware, the next tornado has already landed, and it's putting the future in the present.