Trend Watch: Millennials “Unplugging” from Social Media

This is Emmet. He’s a senior in college. At the moment this picture was snapped, he was deleting his Facebook page. Full disclosure: he’s my son, which is why I was privy to the shot of him in the first place. Never mind that he’s in his PJs. What’s going on here is serious. He’s cutting away from his digital tribe. He’s unplugging a carefully-crafted online persona. Because let’s fess up, aren’t all our social media profiles small fictions?

Why did he do it?

He found that maintaining a “shadow self” on Facebook was getting tiresome, he said. It’s hard enough managing one identity in real life, I guess, let along another in cyberspace.

Then there’s the bottom-line to be factored in here. He’ll be looking for a job soon. Emmet never friended me. Deadly for a dude to friend his Mom, methinks. So I have no idea what horsing around pictures ended up on his Facebook wall. I do know this. He’s graduating with a liberal arts degree in a cut-throat job market. Despite being published at 20, and attending a notable college, entering the job market right out of college is daunting in these times. He doesn’t need the extra burden of his Facebook history telling his story for him to a potential employer.

So, is “unplugging” a trend worth watching?

Will more Millennials unplug to protect their real identities from scrutiny from potential employers?

Or are we witnessing burn out from being “always on”?

And then again, maybe it’s just my kid.

What are you seeing?