In case you have not been paying attention, the meteoric rise of Facebook has hit a bump in the road. According to this Los Angeles Times article, Facebook lost 6 million users in the United States in the month of May, and that is the second month in a row that the user base declined. This trend is happening in Canada and Great Britain as well.
David Martin, in Forbes, dissects the issue and reports that experts believe the issue is simple: kids do not want to be “friends” with their parents. They are bailing on Facebook because their parents and grandparents are now there, and the world of their peers is not separated enough for their liking.
This is measurable data on the psychology of teens that reinforces what I and others have been saying for some time: the outcome of state-run, compulsory, age-segregated education is the destruction of the bonds between parents and child. The traditional peer group of family and close family friends that has formed the fabric of society for thousands of years of human history has been replaced with a model that locks children in rooms with other children of their same age for 20,000 hours of the most formative years of their life.
Interestingly, this outcome is not unexpected. In fact, it is the very result that the social engineers who created this system in the mid-19th century wanted. Like the Nazis and the Soviets demonstrated all too well, the fastest way to transform a society into the image you desire is to break the bond between parent and child so that the child no longer trusts nor respects the parent as the source of wisdom and knowledge. This prevents the parent from passing on pesky traditional values and paradigms that are hard to change. Once that bond is broken, in only a generation or two, the society can be remade to the liking of the utopianists.
That has happened in America. Facebook and all the marketers who were counting on it to be their holy grail are now facing the challenge of dealing with that reality. What this means for Facebook and the opportunity that it creates for other entrepreneurs is still to be decided. But it is worth watching.