Social networking often worth more than 140 characters

Can you define a generation in 140 characters or less? Some people seem to think so. Older generations believe our attention spans to be getting shorter and shorter with each tweet, but I have to say it may be quite the opposite.

Social media is a growing trend that seems to be becoming a staple in today’s society, something that most people believe we can’t function without. While social media is a bit extreme, I have found that those precious few characters can speak volumes about my life, other’s feelings and how things should be. For the most part, I use Twitter as a place to speak my mind about what is going on. With a mere 28 followers, I can safely say my thoughts only go out to those I have approved. Twitter also has a superior privacy policy compared to Facebook, so I know that rant I went on last year about a professor I had won’t end up on a future boss’ desk.

So with all this privacy and 140 characters, what is our generation doing? We are sharing breaking new, telling it how it is, promoting what is currently on TV and making Charlie Sheen even more famous. As I write this, the trending topics on Twitter are “National Dessert Day,” “Google Buzz,” “Brenda Song,” “Happy Birthday Usher” and “#PrayForRickRoss.” What does this say about our generation? Perhaps it is that we like cake, or that celebrities fascinate us, or that we like to see Google lose. Mostly I think it says that we like to share. As small children in preschool, we are taught that sharing is one of the most important skills we can have. Twitter makes it easier to share what is important in our lives at the time.

Sure, Branda Song getting engaged isn’t exactly earth-shattering news you need to know about, but when you realize Twitter was the first place it was reported that Michael Jackson died and was the best way to spread the news that Steve Jobs had passed away, you look at it differently. With the retweet feature, sharing something with your followers is easier than ever, and news can spread at an exponential rate.

So what is the average person doing with it, because we are not all bi-winning, or sharing the latest TMZ sex scandal? We are just speaking our mind, talking to our friends and occasionally posting pictures of where we are and what we are doing. Twitter and similar social media outlets are about sharing. We have been taught since grade school to share. Twitter was created to fill that gap. We share what we are doing, what we are thinking and through apps like FourSquare, where we are.

Maybe we are on the verge of a society without privacy, but I doubt it because no one is forcing you to use Twitter. Our generation is a curious one, eager to share. Quite simple, it’s what we’ve always been taught to be curious, ask questions, caring and sharing. Through Twitter, we are fulfilling both of these lessons that have been passed on from older generations, just not in the way they wanted us to.