Teens may be using Facebook more than Twitter, but there’s still a decent amount of them bopping about – and the way many of them use Twitter is . . . disturbing.
Is this just expected teen behavior, acting out and such, or is it something more? Has online participation permanently changed our children?
Jesse Miller at the Huffington Post thinks so, and he draws a dark picture.
In his piece, Twitter Is Changing Kids, Miller gets to the point quickly, sharing the story of a teen who is possibly mentally disturbed but who has proven himself a pretty dismal excuse for a human regardless, Reese Messer. I know that seems harsh but once you read about him, you’ll likely agree. Anyway, Miller’s point is that the online environment gives him an audience – one he neither needs nor deserves.
Has the use of Twitter provided an interactive stage to users who not only expect replies from their favorite celebrities (@onedirection has yet to respond to my numerous tweets), but who expect that any issue, criminal or personal, can be addressed, vented about or solved on Twitter?
And what happens, Miller reasons, when things to too far and students fail to realize that some messages might have legal implications? Beyond worrying about the school or police, even if the situation is resolved, online content lingers long after the event. -and if mainstream media became involved, the content would follow the user online as it embedded in Google results (as is the case with Messer).
And then there’s this:
The hyper-sexualization of youth is becoming easier to recognize through Twitter and with every tweet about hook-ups, sexual preferences and subsequent bathroom self-shots, online reputations are being built in dangerous ways that hinder the prospects of professional and academic options in the future.
It’s enough to make you feel a little sick, isn’t it? Particularly if you have a child.
What are you observing online? Do you think Twitter and social media is changing our children? And can this change, as presented, be considered any good?
(Troubled teen image from Shutterstock)