“Nobody uses it. I know you love it but I just don’t get it. I mean, I guess a few kids use it but they’re all the ones who won’t shut up in class, who always think they have something important to say.”
The words of a teenage girl to her twentysomething tech-blogger brother have attracted the attention of various observers, among them Will Oremus of Slate.
They epitomise a wider attitude of social-media-wired teenagers today to the text-heavy, wise-crack-addicted nature of the microblog Twitter, he says.
And if anecdotal evidence from one 15-year-old doesn’t do it for you, consider that a Pew survey in 2011 found just 16% of [American] teens used Twitter, a rate not much higher than that of the overall population at the time.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the world are eagerly filling the gaps on the Twitter dancefloor. According to a Digital Policy Council survey, a staggering 75% of world heads of government maintain Twitter accounts – or, of course, have them maintained on their behalf. In democracies, it’s 87%.
The biggest following? It won’t surprise you that US President Barack Obama tops the list, with 24.6 million followers. Second place might, though: it’s the arch critic of America, ailing Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.