On December 6 on The Briefing Albert Mohler reviewed the release of Facebook’s Messenger Kids app. Facebook has been losing market share because the younger generation is not using the service, and so Facebook released the Messenger Kids app in an attempt to draw younger users. This new app requires parental permission for children to use it, and parents must also approve contacts. Nonetheless, it has generated renewed debate over the age at which children should be allowed to use mobile apps.
The release of Messenger Kids raises another question which I have not seen addressed in the news coverage. Facebook losing market share is a reminder that it will eventually fade away. At the moment that may be difficult to imagine because Facebook it so ubiquitous today, but all computer innovations are eventually replaced. Old style bulletin board systems were replaced by online services (CompuServe, Prodigy, and America Online) and the internet. MySpace was largely replaced by Facebook. Eventually Facebook will fade away.
So, what will replace Facebook? Maybe there will be another social network. Maybe we will re-emphasize face to face relationships. Maybe we will continue using social media but more responsibly. There are many possibilities, some of which we probably have not considered yet. Whatever happens, I wonder how future generations will look back at our current obsession with social media.
For further information
- Introducing Messenger Kids, a New App For Families to Connect
- New Facebook App for Children Ignites Debate Among Families
- Facebook exploits human weakness and is intentionally addictive, ex-president says
- Steve Jobs Was a Low-Tech Parent
- Here’s why Steve Jobs never let his kids use an iPad