How teens communicate

There's a detailed story in last week's New Yorker about the Tyler Clementi case. It goes into more depth than a lot of articles about it. You can read it yourself and learn more about what was going on in each student's mind, but another thing that comes out of it is just how much of teenagers' lives is on-line these days. Dharun Tweeted various things to his friends about his roommate, and Tyler searched for it and read it all pretty quickly. Both boys used to web to find out things about each other before they moved in together, and Tweeted, texted, or Instant Messaged stereotypes to friends. Tyler told a friend that his future roommate was "Azn" and that "his rents defs own a Dunkin" (meaning his parents definitely own a Dunkin' Donuts). Ravi Tweeted that his future roomie was gay after finding posts of his on a gay chat board. Both of them used "defs" for "definitely." It seems that kids today will put all sorts of things on the web without assuming that anyone else can read it. Both boys seemed to speak the same universal language at times ("defs"). These kids who grew up with the internet and Facebook are defs a different generation.

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