Twitter has been an interesting phenomenon to me. Most online trends start with the youth (does saying things like ‘the youth’ automatically make me old?) and then branch out to the rest of the culture as they take off. Examples of that would be Myspace, Facebook, texting, instant messaging, video chatting, etc. As one social site or tool would inevitably fill up with young people’s parents and grandparents, it would eventually become uncool and young people would move on to the next big thing. But Twitter was different. When it originally came out, teens in general were uninterested in it. They didn’t see the point, didn’t want to use it, and didn’t bother with it. Instead, the older crowd got into it, started tweeting away, and it gradually exploded into a social media force over the last few years.
Meanwhile, Facebook has also exploded. With over 500 million members, Facebook has changed the world. But that comes at a price; everyone’s mom is on there now, too. If you’re a teen, not ‘friending’ your parents could start a fight, but at the same time, it defeats part of the point of why they got on there in the first place. And this is where a new trend in Twitter has gotten interesting to me. In the last year or so, I’ve seen more and more teens joining the tweet revolution, but in a different way then the older generations that started it. While guys like me use Twitter as a way to update all my different social media outlets in one blow, it looks to me like teens are using it as a way to escape their parents and other such online watchers. What gets posted to Twitter is not what gets posted on Facebook; their accounts are generally set to private so that no one other than their permitted followers can see their thoughts, and it seems to be quickly becoming the outlet for thoughts and conversations they don’t want the rest of the world to see. In other words, Facebook is fine for the majority of their online presence, and Twitter becomes the place to escape adults.
Maybe that’s just what’s happening in my corner of the world. Is that a trend others are noticing?