As Slate's Amanda Hess put it, "Teen-agers Hate Facebook, but They're Not Logging Off." That's consistent with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's recent assertion that the company's own internal data shows the number of teens on Facebook holding steady over the past year-and-a-half.
Facebook could go a long way toward defusing the "teens are quitting Facebook" narrative by releasing actual data to back up Zuckerberg's claims, but it refuses to do so. The company, then, must take part of the blame for the media's overreliance on cherry-picked anecdotes. Still, I'll take a Pew survey over a first-person Mashable post any day. And besides, my 13-year-old nephew does use Facebook, and so do a bunch of his friends. But that doesn't make for a catchy headline.
My goal here is not to bash Karp, though. Indeed, in our brief email interview, the 13-year-old was careful to add a crucial disclaimer: "My experience is limited to where I live," she told me, "and the people I go to school with." Funny how the professional tech bloggers who ran with her story seemed to overlook that point.