Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek

History can happen in a moment.

One leap beyond the norm, one word beyond the usual, one push of a nuclear button can send humanity soaring--or sinking--in a new direction.

I fear that may have recently happened on social media.

You'll be wondering what sort of history has been made and why you've missed it.

Well, let me tell you that Millennials have fallen out of love with Facebook.

I know this because I've just read an article on CNBC.com that tells me, "We, Millennials, have fallen out of love with Facebook."

I hadn't been aware that Millennials had an official spokesperson. Or, rather, I'd assumed it was Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez. But here was Sonali Seth, a sophomore at USC, speaking for them all.

Millennials are our future. I know this because Millennials always tell me this.

What has Facebook done to turn them away? Has it been less than loving? Has it been unfaithful?

Yes.

Seth writes that the thrill is gone because of Facebook's "unapologetic ubiquity."

Millennials, you see, cannot be associated with something with which everyone else is associated. They must have their own thing.

For Seth, though, the issue is philosophical. Millennials do have a deep philosophical bent.

She explains that Facebook's ubiquity without apology "has forced us to grapple with new questions about what it means to exist on a screen and in person."

I fancy it isn't just Millennials who have been grappling with this. Existence has especially bothered everyone who's ever, um, existed.

But for Seth, it's the presence of older types on Facebook--and, worse, authority figures such as parents and employers--that has made Millennials finally snap.

You know my next line already, don't you? Yes, they're snapping on Snapchat.

For Seth: "Snapchat lets Millennials broadcast their lives only to people that they care about."

Wait, I'm sure that Mark Zuckerberg, when he finally came to terms with what nonsense he'd uttered in saying that people didn't want privacy anymore, suddenly instituted privacy controls that everyone understands. Or not.

Of course, this may have been stimulated by his need for personal privacy.

Can it be that Millennials have suddenly realized this need too?

I fear it's more than that. Millennials are feeling the social heat.

With Snapchat, Seth explains, "there's no sense of warped virtual validation that arises via Facebook 'likes' or Instagram 'hearts' and no social pressure to conform to a public persona."

Seth insists that contrary to public perception, Millennials aren't going to become the most narcissistic individuals since presidential candidates were invented. 

Instead, she says: "To be truly introspective, we will have to navigate social politics as it enters our virtual lives, all while we come closer to deciphering who we are, who we want to be, and how we want the world to see us."

I am happy to forgive anyone who finds that sentence stunningly narcissistic.

I fear, though, that Millennials aren't as original as they--or at least Seth--might hope.

In 2013, teens already declared Facebook was "dead and buried," according to one piece of research.

The reason? Why, because parents, grandparents, and everyone else was on it. Their remedy? Why, Snapchat.

Wait, but could at least some of those teens now be the same Millennials still saying the same thing?

Perhaps "social politics" is the same as all other politics. New ideas are very rare.

Published on: Feb 6, 2016