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Tweeting is so middle aged

world Updated: Feb 05, 2010 00:52 IST
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This just in: Most American teens could not tweet less.

According to a new report released on Wednesday, only 8 per cent of online teens have embraced Twitter, a notable low for a generation so passionate about technology. Think of the millions of text messages that teens send. Think of their endless hours on Facebook.

Twitter has not caught on in nearly the same way — and experts suggest the difference is that most teens want to socialize with their friends and peers, not broadcast to the larger world.

“Most teens are not interested in being truly public,” says Danah Boyd, a researcher with Microsoft Research and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Even though Twitter allows users to limit their circle of friends, it “is fundamentally a public system,” she said, and teens “look at this and say, ‘Is this the best tool for doing what I want?’ “

The new report, from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, found that older teens are more likely than younger ones to use Twitter, and that high school girls are the most interested, with 13 per cent using Twitter, compared with 7 per cent of boys the same age.

Most Twitter-minded teens follow the tweets of celebrities — be it Miley Cyrus, Lance Armstrong, Chad Ochocinco, Shaquille O’Neal or Ashton Kutcher, researchers said.

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