When I talk with an older adult, I find myself being asked, “why are teens always on your phones?” I don’t even have to be on it to still be asked. My friends have experienced this too and I’ve seen others say the exact thing. This generation is repeatedly looked down upon for being the “selfish” generation, the “lazy” generation and that we’re too obsessed with how we look to others. I can agree with the last sometimes. We all try and make our life look as perfect as possible on Instagram and Facebook, even if we’re slowly dying inside. But Twitter, it’s a little different.
So many times I hear people say things like, “no one cares about your thoughts that much” or “people only do it to get attention,” but it can’t be narrowed into just those two categories. People have built followings and businesses from Twitter, it’s that powerful. You can also go down in flame though. So I get it, it’s not for everyone, but you’d be really surprised about what comes of the platform.
When I first opened my own Twitter account a few years back, I was a sheltered, privileged kid in high school who has no idea about the world even though I thought I did. It was truly a moment of taking off the veil and witnessing real life. In the past few years, I’ve learned how prevalent racism still is, why white feminism is harming others, how gender and sexuality aren’t limited to a few options, sexual education, both sides of the political world and just how much hate there is out there. I know there will be a few who will scoff reading those things, which is fine, it’s a difference in opinion, but you can’t dismiss it. It’s a community that so many are able to learn and grow from. Hell, maybe you’ve met someone who is now a close friend or mentor. Some truly feel like they have a place there because they meet others like them. It’s opened up a world of opportunities for some users.I didn’t really learn any of those topics back in school because it’s about knowing how x equals whatever instead. I didn’t understand just what was going to hit me once I hit college or when I watch the deadly things happening on the news. I wouldn’t of found writing publications that I love so dearly and write for. I wouldn’t be so informed about what’s happening in the world (which I still have so much to learn about) or why intersectional feminism is important (which I also still have so much to learn about), but it’s a step in the right direction. This generation will be producing some pretty great people because of it and I can’t wait.