A Teenager ≠ All Teenagers

View story at Medium.com

This article from Andrew Watts, a 19-year-old student at the University of Austin, contains some interesting insights on teenage usage of social media. He speaks from a particular perspective1 and provides some unique thoughts on the various networks in use.

Did you know the first use of the phrase “teenager” to describe a group of people was in 1944? That’s only 60 years ago.

Shortly after reading Andrew’s post, I noticed that danah boyd wrote a great response to Andrew’s post. Her biggest insight 2 is that we mustn’t forget that Andrew doesn’t speak for all teenagers.

Andrew is very visible about where he stands. He’s very clear about his passion for technology (and his love of blogging on Medium should be a big ole hint to anyone who missed his byline). He’s also a college student and talks about his peers as being obviously on path to college. But as readers, let’s not forget that only about half of US 19-year-olds are in college.

If you work with young people and are interested in understanding the complex nature of how they approach the same tools you may use (like Facebook, Twitter) then read both. Andrew provides insight into one perspective of social media usage and danah reminds us to keep the keel even. Let me know what you think with a comment below.


  1. As does everyone really.

  2. An insight I originally hadn’t even thought of. Shame on me.

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