Teen Twitter: Mobile-Social Media Minutiae

twitter2.pngPeople were atwitter about the ‘addictive’ nature of the new social networking site Twitter when I attended the Community Next event at Stanford Saturday.

This is Odeo’s global social-media query to the classic teen phone opener, “what are you doing right now?” Sarah’s eating a burrito, Johnny’s picking his hangnails…sheesh, who cares? The candor and minutiae astounds…But kids can’t seem to get enough about peer whereabouts and happenings, and they’ve always been quick to pounce with a ‘hey’ the minute they find their friends online.

Now, they can keep a record of where their friends are, what they’re doing and when they did it, via web-phone-text-IM integration. Privacy? Teens tracking “trends-n-friends” in a nowhere to hide world of virtual voyeurism and cyber transparency could care less…Eery.

I don’t even like those dang traffic cams that make me feel like Big Brother is watching me snarf a banana en route to a client meeting. Youth culture loves a good communal media shower, so I’m all washed up when it comes to being ‘hip.’

Privacy settings seem to be the key element here for a parental exhale; the mobile-social aspect is similar to Dodgeball which has caught on in 22 cities already.

Other online communities ramping up via mobile include the marketing monster of mPulse Media, trends of musicians sending voicemails to fans via SayNow and the booming handheld location tracker, Loopt, newly juiced from a deal with Boost Mobile and their oh, so teen tag, “Where you at?”

Whether it’s MySpace Mobile or ANY social networking, parents need to be aware it’s no place for naïve hands of younger siblings…Media literacy needs proven, and those ‘friend of a friend’ opt-in features and ‘auto-alert locators’ require savvy at ALL ages.

There are also some exciting new mobile applications like Jangl that parents might love.

As for Twitter being the amusement du’ jour, who knows…LifeHack conveyed how Twitter could be used productively, and the Twitter Blog will tell whether it shifts social sculpture on the internet, or is just another ‘cool app’ to glom onto for awhile.

As always, stay tuned…the ‘third screen’ may be the smallest yet mightiest impacting kids…



  1. Stephanie says

    I understand your pov in regards to Twitter; status updates seem irrelevant and unuseful. However there are some sites that are helping teens progress and encouraging them to pursue their education. MyBioFlick (http://www.mybioflick.com/) for example, enables teens to submit a video with their college application- helping them stand out from the crowd while getting creative and having fun!

    Thanks for the info about the other communities!

  2. Hi Stephanie, yes this post was written when Twitter first came out looooooooooong ago…I’ve done multiple other posts about Twitter since, from microfunding of Cambodian college loans to citizen journalism, so you’re absolutely right, it’s found its pocket in the media universe! (now they just need to turn a profit, eh?) 😉

  3. p.s. And by the way MyBio flick looks fascinating…Send me more info?! On FB, huh? Wild…

Speak Your Mind