A new social network has completely emerged into the American culture: Twitter. If you are not fully aware of what Twitter is, Twitter is a website where anyone can create an account and make a ‘mini-blog.’ People can ‘tweet’ a message of up to 140 characters that gets displayed on their page. Twitter is very similar to text messaging. However a text usually gets sent to one person, whereas a message on Twitter gets sent to all of one’s ‘followers’ on the site.
The big question is, who is using twitter? According to The New York Times, only 11% of Twitter users are aged 12 to 17. The majority of Twitter users are young adults and adults. However, Twitter and Facebook are currently the leading social network companies. An overwhelming majority of teens have Facebook, but a smaller percentage have twitter too. Why? Claire Miller ofThe New York Times says that’s teens tweeting is not that popular because Twitter is mostly used for news, or marketing a person or a product. For example, teen sensations like Justin Beiber, Selena Gomez, or the Jonas Brothers all have a Twitter account in order to connect with their fans. Some teens create a Twitter account due to the appeal to ‘follow’ these celebrities.
Although the majority of teens use Facebook versus Twitter, there ARE teens using Twitter! From first hand experience, I know that some teens are ‘tweeting’ during school, and have Twitter accounts that parents are unaware of. Twitter is similar to Facebook and other social networking sites because signing up is free and no parental consent is required. Some teens may have accounts without their parents knowing about it. So, bringing up Twitter casually in a conversation like, “I was wondering about getting a Twitter” or “what is Twitter” can spur up discussion between family members, and ‘tweeting’ could become a hobby of both young adults and parents!
In my opinion, I don’t think that it is necessary for teens for have a Twitter account. I realize that the website is an excellent site for people to access news, new products, and information, but I do not think that the uses that teens use Twitter for are necessary. Many teens or tweens that use twitter for social purposes ‘tweet’ messages such as: going out to lunch, or English class…only 15 more minutes. These messages that some teenagers write on Twitter are not useful, and only serve as distractions from school, and doing day-to-day activities. Also, if a teen wants to get a Twitter only to follow their favorite celebrity one can still access a celebrities Twitter page even without a Twitter account! Twitter is an emerging social network that has become popular, and I think it will even continue to grow and emerge more to appeal to Facebook users and tweens.
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