Twitter Website Poster Image

Twitter

(i)

 

Learning(i)

Fun social tool, but use the privacy controls.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some positive tweeters, but also some jerks. Content depends on what user decides to read, follow.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Teens can search Twitter, which can yield tweets (posts) with sexual comments, links to porn sites.

Language

Language isn't restricted, so there's plenty of profanity.

Consumerism

Allows companies to advertise through promoted tweets, so users might see brief ads for free merchandise, discounted services. Users also can sign up to follow feeds that offer discounts, other consumer deals. Celebs, business owners, media outlets all use Twitter for self-promotion.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some users talk about getting drunk, doing drugs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Twitter is a free "microblogging" and social-networking site that brings up issues of safety, privacy, and a lasting digital footprint. The service allows users to post 140-character messages and follow their friends' activities. Updates appear immediately, and, though you can delete tweets, if other users have reposted them with a comment of their own, those tweets will remain. Teen users would benefit from keeping their tweets private and individually approving followers. Parents also should know that Twitter is increasingly being used as a promotional tool for products and celebrities, though users can limit their exposure to ads and promotions by keeping their Twitter circles among real friends. There's also loads of mature content, language, and drugs-and-alcohol-related content that can be found on Twitter, and it's up to users to avoid seeking it out.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion

Social Studies

  • citizenship

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • asking questions

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

It can be crazy fun for kids to tweet back and forth with friends, so hopefully some of that will spill over into more educational content. Kids also will like personalizing their pages.

Learning Approach

Twitter can help teens learn to write concisely, and hashtag chats on various topics can offer new perspectives on specific interests.

Support

There's a huge base of support for Twitter users, and teens should be able to figure it out pretty quickly. Data is well preserved, and it's possible to tweet pictures and videos for those with different learning styles.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion

Social Studies

  • citizenship

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • applying information
  • asking questions

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn about communication skills while using Twitter, including how you distill a great idea into 140 characters. It takes critical-thinking and writing skills to economize language Twitter-style, and kids will have to respond quickly to keep up with the usually fast-paced conversations. The skills kids learn can translate into the classroom in, for example, a teacher-moderated debate or answering pop quiz questions in one sentence, focusing on the important points. Twitter can expose kids to a lot of content -- some that's better suited for older users -- but it also can be a great place to promote discussion and develop social media skills.

This Learning Rating review was written by Polly Conway

What's it about?

TWITTER is an online social-networking and microblogging platform that allows users to communicate through 140-character messages ("tweets"). It's used by millions of people worldwide to keep up with news, gossip, events, weather, and more. Once you sign up, you can follow other users, who will show up in a scrolling list of real-time tweets. Moments, a new tab that premiered in October 2015, features "the best of what's happening on Twitter in an instant," according to the site, including news, sports, entertainment, and other tweets.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Twitter can be great for keeping in touch with friends or keeping up with what's going on in the world, especially trends in technology and breaking news. Twitter attracts a lot of Web-savvy users, but it isn't really meant for kids. The ability to post anything you want can get kids in trouble if they say something in the heat of the moment. The service's location-sharing features also make it too easy for kids to post their whereabouts, which can lead to face-to-face meet-ups with strangers. Finally, some tweets in the site's Moments section sound like plugs for various TV shows, and Twitter allows kids to receive tweets directly from celebrities they admire, such as sports stars, actors, and musicians. These messages can be extremely influential to impressionable minds (and are very often promoting products the celeb is getting paid to promote).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what's safe to post and what's not (for example, "prnts gone, party @ 123 main st tonite!!") and why it's a good idea for teens to limit tweeting to friends. How do you know if you can trust someone enough to make that person a "friend" with access to your private information?

  • Discuss what's a reasonable amount of time to spend using Twitter and related services, since it's very easy to get carried away.

  • For more information about Twitter, check out our video "What Is Twitter?"

Website details

Genre:Social Networking
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Twitter was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

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What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old January 22, 2011
What other families should know
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written bytigger100 May 22, 2010
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2010

for all ages exept over 12

What other families should know
Too much violence

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