The Strange Case of the Twitter Generation Gap

Of all the things about Twitter that has surprised me (and my love of the service was the first big surprise) is that it seems to be the first major social networking trend(fad?) not being driven by Gen Y and younger.

Unlike Facebook, MySpace, IM and texting, all of which seemed to have a trickle-up adoption path from young to old, Twitter seems to be populated almost exclusively by, well, grownups.  Of course, these grownups are not your average Joe and Jane but are heavy tech users themselves, many of whom are already deeply invested in social networking from a number of angles.

Still, I find comments like this from A VC to be fascinating:

“They used to think twitter was a stalker service. They still do, but they also think its awesome (‘at least for you dad’).  Facebook is their service and I don’t see them leaving it anytime soon. But for the first time, this week, they have twitter envy. That’s a small victory and I’ll take it.”

I wonder what it is that has made Twitter a tool that grownups seem to be far more eager to adopt and use than the younger generation who usually leads the way.  Will Twitter eventually trickle down to the kids?  I don’t know.  For now, it is kinda cool to be using a tech that 12-year-olds aren’t dominating.

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