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Students like “parent-free” Twitter

May 12, 2011

The other day as class was wrapping up, one of my students was on her smart phone. I made some comment about Facebook, to which she replied “No, it’s Twitter. I’m totally addicted to Twitter.” The girl next to her agreed that Twitter is better than Facebook. When I asked her why, she said “I like Twitter because my parents and other family members aren’t on it, so I can say anything I want and not worry about it. On Facebook, I feel pressure to present the right image all the time. I get sick of it. Hell, my grandparents are on Facebook!”

This topic is not something I have talked about with this group of students – she wasn’t echoing my thinking in any way. But she provided powerful data to back up the claim I made on this blog just two weeks ago: Facebook’s days are numbered. I repeat, teens will not continue to hang out at a place where their parents and grandparents are loitering. Sure, they’ll drop by from time to time when they need some money, but they’ll eventually relocate to some shadowy corner of the net where the real action is.

Eventually this girl’s family is going to get a Twitter account and begin following her, and the party will be over. So I wonder who will come up with a solution that will deliver what these students want?

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