'Teenagers go first, then the college demographic & your parents' - Older people getting social media accounts

Daily usage for Snapchat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have all increased

'Teenagers go first, then the college demographic & your parents' - Older people getting social media accounts

General view of the iPhone 5s | Image: Edward Smith / EMPICS Entertainment

The general population is following where teenagers go, according to a cyber-psychologist.

New figures show just under half the adult population here have Facebook Messenger on their phones.

While the number of people in Ireland with WhatsApp and Snapchat accounts who use the messaging services every day increased by 5% over the past three months, according to a new Ipsos survey.

Facebook Messenger users are up 3% for the same period, and the app remains the most widely downloaded messaging app in the country.

Cyber-psychologist Ciarán McMahon says the age groups are changing.

"You will see generally teenagers go first, then the college demographic and your parents after that", he told Newstalk Breakfast.

"Pretty much the trend with all these things is that teenagers will try and find a place where they can be private, where they're not going to be monitored by their parents - and that's part of growing up".

But he says these apps are still used for the same reasons: "The appeal of things like Snapchat is that when you look at somebody's story on Snapchat, it feels like you're actually there with them".

"That is what the whole point of any communicative media is - that you feel like you're somewhere else".

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