Twitter is an interesting social network, since you only have 140 characters to say whatever you want. You cannot post pictures or videos but you can post URLs to them. Many people have embraced twitter as a source to vent out their daily musings or to “follow” their favorite celebrities to get an idea of their life. Parents should be cautious as to how and why their kids are using Twitter. There is nothing bad about Twitter, in fact it has many advantages. The fact is teens need to be careful as to who follows them and especially what they tweet.
Twitter lets you “protect” your tweets so that unless you let someone follow you, no one can read what you are saying. Each person has to have your authorization to be able to follow them. This can be a useful feature for teens to avoid any unwanted followers. This may be difficult to implement since most teens seem to think that the more followers they have the more popular they are. Many people create “false” accounts on Twitter where they can pretend to be someone else, so it is always helpful to have your teen confirm with a friend before adding him or her.
Twitter makes it possible for you to add your location to any tweet so anyone can see where you are. Make sure your teens know this so they can avoid accidentally sending out information they don’t want made public. Many times teens will forget that if their tweets are unprotected that what they are saying is made public to the entire world. Many people are unaware that there are actually laws for defamation, which means a statement that makes either a direct or implied claim on information said be be fact regarding a business, person, nation, etc. Recently a woman was sued over a tweet for $50,000 who complained about her apartment’s owner. Make sure your teens know to be careful about what they say.
Many users on Twitter are 21+ males, in reality most teenagers spend more time on Facebook. Teens are much more comfortable sharing their information with a big group of friend while tweeting can make them feel “unsafe.” However, some teens are involved with Twitter and since they are the minority they need to be aware of what they say and do.
Twitter is a fairly simple social media platform and when taught correctly, your kids can share thoughts and express themselves to their friends and family without encountering any dangerous people or content. Make sure they know how to protect their tweets and prevent any future problems by posting information they don’t want anyone to see or know. A good recommendation is to make your own Twitter account and follow your kids so you can see what they are up to. Although they might not like the idea, it is worth the extra effort.
About the Author
Parker Boyack is a writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them and helps them search for online degrees that can help them reach their goals.
We would like to thank our guest writers on the Online Security Authority Blog! We feel it’s a honor and pleasure, to have others participate and contribute to the great content, advice and opinions on and in this Online World, we all live in… help us, help them, by supporting and visiting their sites!
as always, be safe Online
Your Online Security Authority
teach it, learn it, and share it…
© 2006 – 2011 Online Security Authority