This year… Twitter over Spring Break

Over the summer I normally try to post a couple things that I learned over the previous school year. If you have anything you learned from last year that you would like to tell me about, send it my way smcgever (at) pv dot younglife dot org

When I first started this blog zero kids I worked with had a Facebook. They ALL had a MySpace. College students had a Facebook. Then a transition began. I wrote about this transition HERE.

Then we all know what happened. Facebook blew up. The movie, the app, the IPO, etc. It became the social media hub of the world. It also revolutionized how many YL leaders connect with kids. When is the last time you sent out a flier for club?

This is all great, but another thing that happened was that Facebook was so easy to use that parents and grandparents started using it. I remember when kids would say, “my grandpa got a Facebook”. The writing was on the wall (pun intended).

Then Twitter came along. It was adopted by professionals and college students. Soon enough, high school kids started using Twitter. You probably don’t need me to explain this to you.

This past Spring break I got to spend a few long days at the beach with my family. In the down time I would check my Facebook and Twitter on my phone. When I would read the updates from my high school friends, the difference between Facebook and Twitter couldn’t be more apparent. Facebook was G-rated. Twitter was PG, R, and beyond rated. Facebook had nice posts about “Loving Spring Break!” Twitter had surprisingly detail posts about binge drinking, drugs, sex, all of the above. And many comments were followed by what is now my least favorite hashtag #sorrynotsorry.

It was clear that students wanted to let their parents know they were alive and happy. They wanted their friends to know a lot lot more. From my friends that are Instagram users, I hear that it is pretty much the same thing on Instragram.

So I’m calling it here and now. Facebook is on its way out, at least with young people who care what their parents see. I know there are privacy settings, and Google+ is trying to leverage this with their “circles”. But I think kids are going to head to Twitter, which ironically does not require a “friendship” to see what they are saying.

My suggestion for YL leaders is to set up a Twitter for personal use and for your club. There are very helpful tutorials HERE and HERE.

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