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Analyst, 15, Creates Storm After Trashing Twitter

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the twitter-is-for-old-people dept.

Social Networks 381

Barence writes "A 15-year-old schoolboy has become an overnight sensation after writing a report on teenagers' media habits for analysts Morgan Stanley. Intern Matthew Robson was asked to write a report about his friends' use of technology during his work experience stint with the firm's media analysts. The report was so good the firm decided to publish it, and it generated 'five or six' times more interest than Morgan Stanley's regular reports. The schoolboy poured scorn on Twitter, claiming that teenagers 'realize that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless.' He also claimed games consoles are replacing mobile phones as the way to chat with friends."

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381 comments

I've Heard This Story Before (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675139)

The schoolboy poured scorn on Twitter, claiming that teenagers "realize that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless".

Sounds familiar [tonightsbedtimestory.com] :

So now the Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of the procession, through the streets of his capital; and all the people standing by, and those at the windows, cried out, "Oh! How beautiful are our Emperor's new clothes! What a magnificent train there is to the mantle; and how gracefully the scarf hangs!" in short, no one would allow that he could not see these much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have declared himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office. Certainly, none of the Emperor's various suits, had ever made so great an impression, as these invisible ones.

"But the Emperor has nothing at all on!" said a little child.

"Listen to the voice of innocence!" exclaimed his father; and what the child had said was whispered from one to another.

"But he has nothing at all on!" at last cried out all the people. The Emperor was vexed, for he knew that the people were right; but he thought the procession must go on now! And the lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up a train, although, in reality, there was no train to hold.

Re:I've Heard This Story Before (5, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675193)

I'm trying to figure out why Morgan Stanley is the place for this kind of article. And I hate it when the media has such a hay-day over something, that Google becomes useless because all you can find are media reports about something, and it's close to impossible to find out the "something" they're reporting on.

Honestly, it's just a 15 year old kid with some views of his life. I highly doubt he's actually got anything revolutionary to say. I think it's just a case of people caught on the twitter media train suddenly realizing that twitter isn't god to everybody, despite what reports say.

Re:I've Heard This Story Before (4, Funny)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675285)

I highly doubt he's actually got anything revolutionary to say.

Just wait. Any day now we will see the armies of teenagers emerge carrying around their PS3's and Xboxes instant messaging each other while their cell phones rest idly in their pockets, ringing on deaf ears like so many unread tweets...

Re:I've Heard This Story Before (0, Offtopic)

morari (1080535) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675525)

There's a new sun
Risin' up angry in the sky
And there's a new voice
Sayin' "we're not afraid to die"
Let the old world make believe
It's blind and deaf and dumb
But nothing can change the shape of things to come

There are changes
Lyin' ahead in every road
And there are new thoughts
Ready and waiting to explode
When tomorrow is today
The bells may toll for some
But nothing can change the shape of things to come

The future's comin' in, now
Sweet and strong
Ain't no-one gonna hold it back for long

There are new dreams
Crowdin' out old realities
There's revolution
Sweepin' in like a fresh new breeze
Let the old world make believe
It's blind and deaf and dumb
(But) nothing can change the shape of things [4X]
To come

--Max Frost and the Troopers

Re:I've Heard This Story Before (4, Insightful)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675611)

You know why we won't see that? Because that would require the kids to leave their homes and go outside.

Re:I've Heard This Story Before (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675633)

Um... I think they VOIP each other, not IM each other... judging by my room-mate's use of his X-Box (and the fact that it doesn't have a keyboard). They use their cell phones for text messaging.

Re:I've Heard This Story Before (4, Funny)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675891)

VOIP, IM, S&M, B&D, I don't care! In my day twitter was hosted on the wall of the bathroom stall, not some magical cloud-box! Get off my lawn, whippersnapper!

Re:I've Heard This Story Before (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675453)

The comment about consoles becoming more attractive than phones for instant messaging is hilarious and should give readers an idea of how much thought this contains. If only I had published the opinion piece I wrote for Social Studies as a teen about how MySpace was going to ruin the internet. It was full of uninformed opinions, and even a stab at George Bush!

Re:I've Heard This Story Before (4, Insightful)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675797)

Mobile phone's cost money, and we are talking about a 15 yo kid. Most teenages have pay as you go phones that are all out of credit - "call me, I can recieve but can't send.....". Whenever I go into the local newsagent to buy some ciggys, during any half term (or any other school break), I normally see a large gaggle of teenagers scraping some coins together to get £2 phone credit.

It's therefore very unsurprising that this teenager, with his limited world view, has decided that games consoles are better to communicate with, than an expensive phone. First there's the cost. Second, if he's a gamer, there's a good chance his friends are gamers, and since they are unlikely to be in the pub (because they are too young), they'll probably be found at home, infront of theirs consoles. It is therefore the best communication medium for *him*.

Granted the kid will grow up, start going to the pub, and have his own income that he can spend on phone credit. At that point, he'll have probably ditched consoles all together, and got himself a brand new iPhone 9, and be playing Halo 17 on the bus back from work on it.

Even though it was not that long ago, it's very easy to forget how your mind worked when you were a teenager. Every so often something like this will come along and remind you how small minded you were just a few years ago ;)

Re:I've Heard This Story Before (2, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675613)

Why does it surprise you that Morgan Stanley published something like this? One of their big activities is selling investment analysis, and the people they are selling to aren't exactly going to be wired into what Twitter is about.

They all want in on the next Google, so when something gets as much attention as Twitter has been getting (never mind that the attention is a self fulfilling prophecy; people in the media at least have a tendency to be narcissistic), the herd gets a bit jumpy.

A great example of spending a lot of money to not find the next Google is the giant pile of money that Murdoch shoveled out for MySpace.

Re:I've Heard This Story Before (1)

IP_Troll (1097511) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675887)

Morgan Stanley is the place for this kind of article because Morgan Stanley does stock analysis. Money managers pay alot of money to get these analyzes and rely on stock analysis information from financial analysts. The Money managers then use that analysis as a basis for investment strategies. This 15 year old boy's article is an analysis of stocks that fit into the category of media. This will very likely cause money managers to change their investment strategies to reflect what the boy says, because popular media companies make money.

To put it in layman's terms:
Money managers know nothing about nothing and get by, by BSing people. Money managers read financial analyzes to get buzzwords and keep up on "whats hot." Twitter used to be a big buzz word, this 15 year old boy has now destroyed the buzz.

Nice disclaimer (4, Informative)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675171)

From the article: Morgan Stanley points out that Robson's assessment of the media landscape doesn't have the statistical rigour of its regular reports.

Re:www.efeatrade.com (-1, Troll)

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Re:Nice disclaimer (4, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675765)

From the article: Morgan Stanley points out that Robson's assessment of the media landscape doesn't have the statistical rigour of its regular reports.

The next regular report will, no doubt, assert with full statistical rigour that "Twitter is for twits". It's been manifestly evident to many of us since its very inception.
People don't "tweet", they mostly be-twit themselves - sometimes quite impressively in only 140 characters. Others merely follow the twaddle produced by their twit-idols (a motley collection of vacuous celebrities, sports stars, self-serving shills, and the like). Still, pumping the hype on the way up was good for fleecing investors. Presumably Morgan Stanley can now fleece them again on the way down.

Re:Nice disclaimer (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675853)

From the article: Morgan Stanley points out that Robson's assessment of the media landscape doesn't have the statistical rigour of its regular reports.

No kidding... It reads as if he's assuming that just because he and his five friends don't use Twitter, it follows that nobody his age uses Twitter. And then he just makes up some random reasons to support his claim. How does he know *why* teenagers don't use it; has he done any research? Or just picked the first thing that flew into his head?

I could have written a report when I was that age saying that no teenager watches NASCAR or soccer because I didn't and most of my friends didn't.

I don't blame the kid for writing this way (he's not old enough to know better), but I find it bizarre that Morgan Stanley would take this seriously.

I always find it annoying when the media or a company takes the say-so of one individual and thinks that one person could possible speak for all teenagers / African-Americans / middle-aged white people / etc...

Here's the real reason... (2, Funny)

Abroun (795507) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675177)

Re:Here's the real reason... (1)

thedonger (1317951) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675237)

I don't know which part of that is more interesting: That the manhole cover says, "N.Y.C. Sewer - Made in India" or that the parents will sue because there daughter is a dolt.

Re:Here's the real reason... (4, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675337)

or that the parents will sue because there daughter is a dolt.

Says the one who can't use the proper from of 'their'.

Re:Here's the real reason... (1)

Stele (9443) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675423)

Says the one who can't use the proper from of 'their'.

Says the one who's sentence doesn't parse.

Re:Here's the real reason... (5, Funny)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675465)

Says the one who can't use the proper from of 'their'.

Says the one who's sentence doesn't parse.

Says the one who doesn't know when to use "who's" or "whose" :-)

Re:Here's the real reason... (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675447)


Says the one who can't use the proper from of 'their'.

I'll take the dolt who mistypes over the dolt that sues when their own stupidity bites them in the ass.

Re:Here's the real reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675693)

Most people don't "mistype", if you were referring to the accidental pressing of the wrong keys. Messing up there, their, they're, loose, lose, its, it's, your, you're, etc., simply means they did not learn correct spelling. There are more of them every day...

Re:Here's the real reason... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675873)

While the daughter WAS a dolt, that doesn't obviate the need for cones. Workers should probably 'look for cones' first, THEN open the manhole. What if she weren't just distracted, but were impaired in some way (e.g. blind)?

Texting is annoying, and the societal change to accommodate it has been somewhat abrasive, but there was a decently high chance for injury here. All parties involved were quite lucky indeed.

Re:Here's the real reason... (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675557)

I love people that are so utterly self-absorbed and oblivious to their surroundings that they can do something this foolish. Wanna lay odds that when she gets her drivers license in a few years she'll be one of the asshats that flies down the road, cell phone in one hand, make-up in the other, paying absolutely no attention to the road? Then when she gets into an accident she'll say "I never saw it coming!".

I'll get yelled at for saying this but it's a pity she didn't earn herself a Darwin award. Now she's going to breed and pass on her stupidity to the next generation.

In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675191)

User interviews still considered useful

Relativity (5, Insightful)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675207)

If a 15-year-old "analyst" writes one of the most "clearest and most thought-provoking insights" for your publication, that says a lot more about your publication (and the state of American journalism) than the 15-year-old in question.

Why don't we ask him to write about homework ("a near-epidemic in America") early bedtimes ("a gross violation of the constitution") and girls ("icky!") while we're at it?

Fucking embarrassing.

Re:Relativity (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675335)

Indeed, Morgan Stanley should write a report on their own inadequacy in writing proper reports. I sense a recursion coming up here.

Re:Relativity (5, Informative)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675395)

Your being fifteen must have been a looooooooooong time ago if you truly think 'icky' would enter a boy's mind at this age when asked about girls.

Dude, fifteen year old girls have BREASTS, remember that. ;)

But I concur, if such an article has much more audience than your usual content you should really start thinking about changing your usual content.

Re:Relativity (1, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675771)

When I was 15, I was in the 8th grade and a lot of girls didn't have breasts yet. I barely had hair on my balls at that point, and having sex with a girl was something far, far away. I remember me and a friend of mine used to shoplift condoms from K-Mart (repressed sexuality expressing itself the only way we knew how) and he gave some to the coolest kid in school. I saw him later that day showing them off to his friends, as if he were some big guy who had sex so often that he needed a 12-pack of condoms. This was in 1985 BTW. Please stop assuming that today's attitudes are somehow universal or have any relevance beyond the here and now.

Re:Relativity (2, Interesting)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675803)

Huh, when I was 15 I wasn't thinking about 15 year old girls... it was the 18 year old cheerleaders, 22 yearl old bikini models and 28 year actresses that always got my attention. I didn't think about 15 year old girls until I was 17 and realized that the only girls I had a chance with were 15/16 ;-p since all the girls my own age were dating some college kid or at least thought they should be.

Slurm (4, Insightful)

pushf popf (741049) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675435)

If a 15-year-old "analyst" writes one of the most "clearest and most thought-provoking insights" for your publication, that says a lot more about your publication (and the state of American journalism) than the 15-year-old in question.

What it says is that most people working in "business" are disconnected from reality and produce nothing of value.

The only real problem is that some moron let this kid inside to see the Slurm factory and now he knows.

Re:Relativity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675457)

What's "fucking embarrassing" is that Aurisor still thought girls were "icky!" when he was 15.

Re:Relativity (0, Offtopic)

Aurisor (932566) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675513)

Listen AC, I have been literally awake for 30 minutes this morning. During that time, I had two raw eggs and wrote a +5 insightful post.

I'm gonna go "piss some excellence"; in the meantime, why don't you register an account so I can foe you and get going to my high-paying job.

Re:Relativity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675479)

A 15yr old boy that thinks girls or icky???

Games consoles? (2, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675235)

He also claimed games consoles are replacing mobile phones as the way to chat with friends."

Maybe for 10 year olds, but certainly not for the rest of us.

Re:Games consoles? (2, Insightful)

cmdrkynes (1582503) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675347)

Yes but someone who is trying to reach the 10 year old demographic with advertising might be interested in this. From what I understand from my friends on Madison Avenue, it is quite lucrative to convince a 10 - 15 year old to nag his parents into buying something.

Re:Games consoles? (3, Insightful)

rho (6063) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675359)

Maybe for 10 year olds, but certainly not for the rest of us.

Thing about 10 year olds, they don't stay that way. These kinds of reports are what people and corporations use to plan for the future.

I'm not suggesting that the report is the end-all be-all, but it does hint that maybe what people today are terribly excited about today may not be sustainable.

Re:Games consoles? (1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675495)

Thing about 10 year olds, they don't stay that way. These kinds of reports are what people and corporations use to plan for the future.

Then they're pretty fucking stupid, because when that kid grows up, he'll have a cellphone.

I'm not suggesting that the report is the end-all be-all, but it does hint that maybe what people today are terribly excited about today may not be sustainable.

It really doesn't, because it's anecdotal. The plural of anecdote is not data.

Re:Games consoles? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675881)

So the phone rings and it is one of my son's friends (Matt 16 years old). He tells me, as he is running out the door, tell Matt I will call him tonight on COD4.

Re:Games consoles? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675361)

Personally, "texting" as a means of talking to friends never actually replaced, well, "talking to friends" as a method for talking to friends.

I'm also seeing a lot of angry flames about this kids analysis. Perhaps you should all go Tweet about that.

Re:Games consoles? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675411)

speak for yourself, i chat more to my friends via xbox live than i do on my phone. mostly because you can see they're available, you know they're not busy, and it's only one button away

Re:Games consoles? (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675451)

Maybe for 10 year olds, but certainly not for the rest of us.

Yeah, but ten year olds grow quickly into most industries' key demographic, and yesterday's toys becomes tomorrow's Engines of Commerce. Time was (and not too long ago) that MySpace/Social Networking was the stomping ground of teens and the pervs who pretended they were teens. People working in the "real" web space treated it with scorn (not saying it was not well deserved, but let's stay on message here...), regarding it as that generation's GeoCities, assuming that as the users grew up they would launch their own websites outside of the social networking space if they still had the vanity/blogging bug. And people working in that real web space were wrong. In spades.

So, yeah, I can understand why a mostly-coherent report on networking trends by a 15 year-old (with Morgan Stanley's imprimatur) is getting some buzz. Nobody wants to miss the bus twice in a row.

Not like a phone (1)

qwerty shrdlu (799408) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675625)

A game console is used in one particular room and is tethered by wires. They have no buttons or dials, but in would be possible to swing a Wii controller in a circular "cranking" motion to log on. Someone should patent this!

I would never have guessed this is the case~ (2, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675261)

teenagers "realize that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless".

Wow. I'm totally floored. I would never have guessed that the vast majority of people, more specifically teenagers, don't care when you tweet you're on Main Street and saw a cute girl. Or, in the case of Gabe, taking a shit [penny-arcade.com] .

Guess this is another example where not having an MBA is an asset.

Who cares? (1)

TyrainDreams (982007) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675281)

"Robson also had bad news for the mobile phone operators, claiming that games consoles have become a more attractive medium for chatting to friends than their phones. "

Yes I'm sure a 15 year old would rather chat with his friends in Halo than on a Cell phone but it doesn't change the fact that Cell phones are still what the rest of the world uses to communicate, last I checked you can't pocket a PS3, and even if you pull the DS card, it then becomes just a GSM transceiver away from being a cell phone.

"The 15-year-old poured scorn on social-networking site of the moment, Twitter, claiming that teenagers don't use it because "they realise that no one is viewing their profile, so their tweets are pointless"."

Absolute bollocks, teenagers don't use twitter because THEY CANT AFFORD MOBILE PLANS FOR THE VOLUME OF MESSAGES IT TAKES TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH EVERYTHING BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE FUCKING JOBS. Also you cant completely trash the appearance of your profile and put a really bad post-punk emo song somewhere hard to turn off that auto-plays on load.

I'd like to see his actual writing. But I would not invest in a company who listens to a 15 year old's tirade with no basis in fact or logic.

Re:Who cares? (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675821)

Absolute bollocks, teenagers don't use twitter because THEY CANT AFFORD MOBILE PLANS FOR THE VOLUME OF MESSAGES IT TAKES TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH EVERYTHING BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE FUCKING JOBS. Also you cant completely trash the appearance of your profile and put a really bad post-punk emo song somewhere hard to turn off that auto-plays on load.

How about this. TWITTER SUCKS!

I have gotten sick of everyone's mental diarrhea. Endless, boring blogs and social networking sites. The best thing so far has been YouTube for getting the word out. That isn't saying much...

Why is it... (4, Insightful)

Ynsats (922697) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675327)

...there have been numerous articles written on the lameness of waste of bandwidth that twitter is and they get shot down as anti-pop babble. Yet a 15 year old kid writes a dismissive and somewhat rambling "analytical" report saying that twitter is lame and a waste of time and all of a sudden he's a genius with social insight in to media tools?

Tools meaning things people use to communicate, like telephones (yes, they still have those). Not tools meaning the talking heads like the ones the reported on the 15 year old's report.

Re:Why is it... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675463)

...Because the media by and large thinks that (or at least implies) that every kid age 13-20 has a MySpace, Twitter and Facebook accounts, that they own a PS3, 360 and Wii. Basically what this report is saying is that Twitter is simply a fad. That it doesn't capture the attention of the people who presumably would be the next big adopters. How is this useful to businesses? Well, if they are targeting 13-20 year olds, they might want to invest in different advertising than on Twitter especially for the long term.

Re:Why is it... (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675559)

...there have been numerous articles written on the lameness of waste of bandwidth that twitter is and they get shot down as anti-pop babble. Yet a 15 year old kid writes a dismissive and somewhat rambling "analytical" report saying that twitter is lame and a waste of time and all of a sudden he's a genius with social insight in to media tools?

The issue you notice is simple. If anyone above the age of 20 wrote this report, he or she would be viewed as "old" or "not with it" and the report would be dismissed as sour grapes or get off my lawn or some such thing. Oh, but wait, we have a 15 year old telling us this? Shit, that's the demographic this is supposed to work on! Oh man, now we better listen. And suddenly, overnight, it's okay to doubt Twitter's power out loud. Amazing.

The news here is that it took the voice of an innocent to wake up business men looking for the next marketing scam to pull on young people. "MySpace didn't work for marketing, maybe this Twitter thing will work? Never mind that I think it's stupid, I don't want to out myself as technologically inept and reveal I don't even use e-mail. No, we must avoid our inadequacies instead of addressing them." That's basically what's at work, very much like The Emperor's New Clothes (see my post above).

Re:Why is it... (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675575)

Why?
Because all of these parents that thought they were 'hip and cool' for using Twitter to impress their kids, are now shown the harsh reality that their kids didn't have the heart to tell them.

Re:Why is it... (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675719)

You've convinced me - Twitter is actually good! The people who use it are absolutely NOT narcissists!

Hint: he wasn't talking about the tool, he was talking about what people use the tool for. His opinions are credible because anyone who attacks the underage is considered despicable (well, for now anyway...just wait until the "it's irresponsible and environment-destroying to be a parent" attitude gathers even more steam than it has already) and he's saying something that nobody is allowed to say.

Re:Why is it... (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675777)

...there have been numerous articles written on the lameness of waste of bandwidth that twitter is

And they all get posted on Slashdot and get at least their average share of comments. So much goes energy goes into "not using Twitter" these days. Methinks people doth protest too much?

My friends and I have a use case for Twitter and we're happy with it. Not everyone does. Perhaps they should just realize it's a tool like any other communication medium and let it be.

Bleeding edge (5, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675329)

Once I read this report I tossed out my iphone and blackberry. I now walk around with the convenience of a xbox 360 and Playstation 3 strapped on each side of my hip. I also attach an atari 2600 to my chest for legacy situations.

Me: 1 Technology: 0

 

Re:Bleeding edge (5, Funny)

Red4man (1347635) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675409)

I also attach an atari 2600 to my chest for legacy situations.
You need an Intellivision on your back, and a ColecoVision makes a great hat.

Re:Bleeding edge (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675459)

I just fscking literally lol'd and spit out my coffee.

You owe me a new keyboard sir.

Re:Bleeding edge (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675587)

How can parent be a troll?
He's:
1. informative
2. on topic (his coffee in the keyboard is as interesting as twitter)
3. hip (he uses fsck and lol)

One person's anecdotes (5, Insightful)

SlashBugs (1339813) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675381)

It's a facet of human nature that people tend to assume that others think and behave broadly the same way they do. Like the techs in the recent Gnome 3.0 posts arguing that everyone intuitively understands what icons, links, files and folders mean on a computer (tell that to my dad, who just barely knows how to click the "internet" icon and browse simple websites), or political activists who assume that their oppositions must see the world the same way they do, so they're just lying. Heck, there's the whole "internet community" who read a pile of overlapping sites (/., techcrunch, digg, boingboing, etc) and assume that the rest of the internet does too, so that a survey of those sites (legalise cannabis, allow torrents, etc) represents the views and priorities of everyone else. They forget e.g. the big rings of craft websites whose members have probably never heard of 4chan and digg, much less read them, not to mention the many more people who simply don't go on social websites beyond facebook.

It's just the echo chamber effect. A teenager knows that this is how he and his friends use technology, so he assumes it's true for everyone else. So the report might be an interesting insight into how he thinks, but totally useless for anyone who wants an actual profile of his age group.

The reason behind this report (5, Insightful)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675385)

Sounds like Morgan Stanley feels that this point is so blatantly obvious that it even by delivering it via a virtual nobody from the demographic that twitter is supposed to be the most popular with wouldn't dilute the truth.

However, while I think twitter is pretty boring myself you do have to admit -- if you're a 15 year old kid writing research reports for Morgan Stanley odds are you don't have the pulse of social networking trends.

The only real use for Twitter... (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675401)

... is microblogging important events from places with limited bandwidth, like a pro-democracy demonstration in Tehran.

Otherwise, the kid has it on the nose. Not that that's a surprise; it's just that he seems to be the only person with the courage to come out and say it.

Re:The only real use for Twitter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675703)

You have no imagination.

Short control messages, available to a wide subscriber list? That sounds like a nifty control layer for networked software, to me. Botnets, distributed sensors, control commands for a flash mob? I can think of a variety of nonstandard uses for this tool. You could even segregate groups of computers/people by twitter account, like team1 = joePeabody223, team2 = janiceWheatson456, everybody = misterPhelps442, etc.

Yummy.

Where's the Report? (5, Insightful)

FreeUser (11483) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675429)

Has anyone actually found the damn report? As another pointed out, google search is so polluted with 2nd and 3rd hand accounts that googling the report is singulary unrevealing (or perhaps more accurately: multiplicatively unrevealing). Unlike other snarky comments here, I wouldn't be surprised if this kid's observations weren't dead on. I'm unsurprised twitter is considered passe, I'm unsurprised that teenagers are finding better ways to chat than SMS messages pecked out on a cell phone number pad, and I'm unsurprised that teenagers are abandoning television and print media as primary information sources, given how often those expensive and slow media forms have been shown to be inaccurate, overtly deceptive, and (worst of all for a young person) utterly out of touch with the zeitgeist of the moment.

About the only surprise in the captions is that young people are using gaming consoles more than other media for chatting, but that may be down to me not being a gamer. In any event, I'd like to read the report before passing judgement, and particularly befor joining the jaded, knee-jerk reaction of "the kid's clueless, we shouldn't listen" mantra that seems to have become so common on slashdot (and makes us all sound like cranky old men, even more out of touch with the world's current trends than the Old Media).

Re:Where's the Report? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675699)

The original report is here: http://media.ft.com/cms/c3852b2e-6f9a-11de-bfc5-00144feabdc0.pdf

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675471)

Hilarious as this may be, a single 15-year old's experience cannot possibly speak to the entire experience of people and media today. FAIL.

@acehole Never thought of strapping the atari to myself, but I think I'm going to follow suit.

the child says: the emperor is naked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675487)

so what? it happend before and it will happen again: media hype, marketing hysteria etc. and then a child comes along and states the obvious: the emperor has no clothes on. Every politician tries to be hip and use twitter - but the void in their heads can not be turned into wisdom. and using a volatile medium like tweets does not help either.

I partially agree - twitter, facebook, etc are bad (2, Interesting)

Zen (8377) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675493)

I just had this discussion with my wife over the weekend, but in our case we were talking mainly about Facebook and not Twitter, but the same principal applies. My take is that I like the concept of being able to keep in touch with friends and family easily, but the implementation of facebook, myspace, twitter, and sms messaging leaves a lot to be desired. Facebook and myspace allow other people to post things which you may or may not want posted about you, and it keeps those postings for a certain amount of time (# of posts). Yes, you can delete them, but that's not the point. If there was damage, it's already done. Twitter is completely abused by people posting things about going to the store or going to a movie. Who really cares about that except stalkers or people who need to live vicariously through other more exciting people? I see the point for texting/sms, but I can't stand hearing about people that constantly text their friends. If you need to have a conversation with someone with multiple questions and answers, then it's a lot quicker (and cheaper) to call them. It's only quicker to text if it's a single message with a single response. Yes, I'm very technologically literate - I have worked in the computer networking hardware industry for ten years. But the implementation and addictiveness to many people of these four services is really bad. I know a few people who use these services solely for posting pictures and stories for family and good friends - I definitely get that.

For the flip side - my wife uses facebook quite a bit and likes getting updates from people she probably wouldn't call and talk to. Also enjoys looking at pictures when someone posts them. I get that - I just don't get the constant attention it requires. I look at her page, and see 3-4 updates from some of her friends on a daily basis, and we're not talking high school or college kids here. And half of them are lame attempts at introspective comments like - "can't wait to go drinking", "feeling lonely", "two days until the weekend", "my life is like xxx song lyric", etc. She agreed with me about that stuff, but it seems like most of our joint friends enjoy posting comments like that. As for twitter, she equated it to instant messaging. Definitely not the same thing because it's kept forever and isn't a two way conversation.

I'm not starting flames. I just don't understand why so many people are so addicted to these computer based types of social networks when to an outsiders perspective many of the posts seem either phony or useless. There have to be other people out there that agree with me, or that can come up with rational reasons as to why I'm wrong.

Re:I partially agree - twitter, facebook, etc are (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675809)

I would say, yes, those people are indeed that superficial.

Sounds like the next Theodore Kaczynski (3, Insightful)

gubers33 (1302099) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675551)

Seriously, this kid sounds like he must have no friends or social life. I mean I personally think that Twitter is one of the most ridiculous concepts imaginable and a site with horrible stability, but it has its place. I mean it is helping in places like Iran and Eastern Asia. Twitter is one thing, but a 15 year old who is trashing video game consoles saying they are replacing cell phones? How long has this kid had a cell phone to begin with that the game consoles are replacing them? None the less I don't think a game console is going to replace a cell phone, most people like the idea of the phone evolving from a backpack, I don't foresee that coming back. Of course this child only being 15 wouldn't remember that cell phones were that big at one point. This kid needs to go out and play with some kids his age and enjoy his childhood instead of hanging with Morgan Stanley analyst. If he doesn't by the time he is 40 it will be like the movie Falling Down.

Re:Sounds like the next Theodore Kaczynski (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675729)

Totally, if the kid doesn't like twitter he'll grow up to be a terrorist.

Oh, God, the Grammar (4, Interesting)

Quothz (683368) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675573)

I can't believe an editor let that report pass. "Near impossible", ">4", "1/3 of teenagers have... 50% having ... 40% with", and "Some teenagers make purchases on the internet but this is only used by a small percentage", to name a few. There's punctuation errors, capitalization mistakes, poor abbreviation, and subject-verb agreement problems. One sentence, leading a paragraph, begins with a numeral. This report is an unreadable mess; the poor phraseology and numerous mistakes draw attention from whatever point the little moron is trying to make.

Re:Oh, God, the Grammar (1)

webreaper (1313213) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675701)

Well, he's only 15. He might be working for MS, but perhaps he hasn't scored highly in his English SATS.

Re:Oh, God, the Grammar (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675801)

This report is an unreadable mess

If you can only communicate and understand things when presented to you in a very specific structured way, you are the minority. Being thrown off because someone mixed 1 with one means you are either not very flexible, have a reading comprehension problem, just like to bitch, or trying to make yourself seem better by putting other people down. Bottom line is the teen gave his opinion on some topic, you don;t understand or care about the topic, you only care that it is not grammatically correct. Let me guess, if you meet an auto mechanic wearing a suit and tie, you would automatically trust him more than a second mechanic with a dirty pair of coveralls on.

Is this really revolutionary? (1)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675655)

Business people reading a 15-year-old's commentary on what teenagers think about products aimed at teenagers? Is this really a new concept?

Wait, if this catches on, maybe next they'll ask programmers what they think about technology projects in the workplace?!

Who's the audience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675677)

Some musician said - a while back - that if you're not into music videos, you should relax. It doesn't mean that you're anti-culture, it just means you're not 14 years old. The obvious implication being that videos were (are?) largely created for the entertainment of teens rather than adults.

Twitter is clearly a powerful communication tool - witness its use in Iran recently. But it's not particularly aimed at teens, and I struggle to see much that it offers teens that they can't get elsewhere, while at the same time the features that makes Twitter powerful to some constituencies have no value to teens.

So I see the report as being accurate, but not necessarily having significant insight (except for those who haven't thought much about Twitter and are wondering if/when it will become the next Big Thing with the teen market).

The innocent speaking truth (2, Interesting)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675679)

This only has relevance because it agrees with existing opinions that have no way to be expressed. Think of "The Emperor's New Clothes", in which everyone has a thought, but anyone who expresses that thought will be ostracized (executed in the orignial story, but ostracism is the nonlethal modern alternative). Just think of a New York Times journalist who came out and said twitter was crap and people who use twitter are self-absorbed idiots who shouldn't be trusted with the fourth estate's reponsibility to safeguard democracy. His opinions would be attacked and discarded faster the Joe the Plumber.

Teenager in "reading newspapers is boring" shocker (2, Funny)

webreaper (1313213) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675685)

In other news, the Pope tweets that he's thinking of becoming a catholic, and bear posts "took a sh*t in the woods" as facebook status.

Game consoles for chat... (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675715)

My 21 year old brother chats with his friends through his game console... my 30+ year old neighbor does the same.

What do they have in common? They like playing games and they're both guys. I wouldn't expect my neighbors wife or the 16 year old girl down the street to fire up the PS3 or XBOX to chat with her girlfriends though why that's any different than using MySpace or Facebook as a chat board I couldn't tell you.... only that the girls want to be able to chat ALL THE TIME - so that cellphone isn't going anywhere.

Twitter as social networking for teens IS a fad. They're all fads for teens. As a micro-blogging tool OTOH, those teens who have a use for it will continue to use it, the rest will get too busy with the next thing that comes along or maybe just bars, parties, getting laid, etc. Twitter could still be used to broadcast where the hot bar is, or the next party and it could get you laid as a rexult - so teens/20somes will keep using it for that if nothing else.

Uncle Morgan or Aunt Stanley? (1)

wrencherd (865833) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675725)

How does one get to be an intern at an organization at M-S at age 15?

ps--kid's right, twitter is dumb

Re:Uncle Morgan or Aunt Stanley? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28675833)

ps--kid's right, twitter is dumb

      Nah, twitter isn't dumb. It's used by all those people who spend at least 6 hours a day updating their facebook/hi5/myspace pages. You know, the single 40 year old women or the desperate divorced men.

Ooh, I can do this! (4, Funny)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675741)

Ooh, ooh!

35 year old men don't play golf. I mean, I'm 35 and I know a few 35 year olds, and none of us play golf.

Shower gratitude on me for my unique insight. Better sell all your shares in the golf industry.

my reports (4, Funny)

Dragoon235 (1051296) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675793)

dear /.

I feel that it is important to report market information that I have assembled.
Based on a survey of the people I'm living with, Ubuntu has a 25% market share of the laptop market.
None of my friends own an iPhone, so I assure you that it is a dead market space, MMOs fall into the same category.
On average, there is only one care for six people with driver's licenses.
Wii has 100% of the market share.
All teenage girls love anime and The Lion King.
In terms of popularity, 4 out of 5 of my roommates wanted a joint memorial for Billy Mays and Michael Jackson.
Everyone I know hates MySpace. I mean everyone. Its a really stupid facebook. The only people who use it are retarded. Surveys report that people are more willing to twitter than use MySpace, which is quite shocking considering previous reports.

All of these reports are held to the highest standards of statistical accuracy and truthfulness. It has the statistical rigour usual to all of my reports.

15 minutes (1)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#28675825)

Looks like after a decade or so, the "analysts" and "consultants" have finally come around to doing the math on the famous "15 minutes of fame" for everybody.

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