Voices of our Generation: Tweetable Wisdom

Of Twitter’s 23 million monthly active users, the largest age bracket of Tweeters – the 18-29 year old group – fits clearly into the definition of Generation Y. Condemning Twitter as a place for inconsequential, fleeting rambles is an easy path for people within and without our generation (just Google the words “I don’t care what you had for breakfast Twitter” and drown in the ranty results yourself), but it is much more useful to see the millennial use of Twitter as a stepping stone to understand the moving tides of the times. Some Generation Y celebrities use it to share wisdom and define our age in little Tweetnuggets daily. Let’s take a look at a few.

1. Aubrey Plaza

photo via  flickr user peabodyawards
photo via flickr user peabodyawards

Aubrey Plaza is the definition of underhanded wit from her acting to her tweets. Take, for example, this one:

There’s so much irony in this thank you. She – a celebrity on all sorts of media radars – is using her online presence to act as though “erasing yourself from the Internet” is something that is actually possible. Gen Y knows that the Internet isn’t a chalkboard you can just wipe down, and Aubrey Plaza says it for us.

2.  Jennette McCurdy

photo by flickr user javier_PTR
photo via flickr user javier_PTR

(Yeah, the girl from iCarly.) Jennette McCurdy is perfect at sharing the defining struggles of our generation and pointing out the idiosyncrasies of the times without judgement.

She calls out the social communication boundaries that we put up, but doesn’t grumble “damn kids don’t know how to talk without a screen” while doing it. It’s a call to action, not a call to shame.

3.  Ezra Koenig

photo via flickr user drakelelane
photo via flickr user drakelelane

I saved the best for last. Ezra, Vampire Weekend’s main singer and a Columbia dropout, is the wisest and funniest Tweeter in all of cyberspace. He calls out bizarre marketing campaigns, makes pseudo-serious decrees for the digital age, and is in favor of the power of the modern-day self-portrait, which is a favorite subject of his…

Though he jokes with the “selfy” on Twitter, he still shakes off the narcissistic stereotype that gets spat our age. In Rolling Stone, he said: “I can’t Google, you know, ‘What does my friend look like today?’ For you to be able to take a picture of yourself that you feel good enough about to share with the world – I think that’s a great thing.”

Twitter is not just a place for our generation to talk about their breakfast cereal, clearly – it can be a place of wisdom and generational discourse. And if we are talking about our breakfast cereal, so what? This doesn’t instantly evidence the narcissism of millennials. We are a generation faced with a new world of media, and we are speaking on it as individuals.

140 characters at a time.

About Cecilia Weddell

Cecilia Weddell (CAS 2015) studies Comparative Literature and Mathematics. She likes poetry, basketball, YouTube videos of baby animals, and tea.

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