What parents need to know
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
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- applying information
- asking questions
- asking questions
- conveying messages effectively
- multiple forms of expression
Responsibility & Ethics
- following codes of conduct
- evaluating media messages
- social media
- using and applying technology
Engagement, Approach, Support
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.
Twitter can help teens learn to write concisely, and hashtag chats on various topics can offer new perspectives on specific interests.
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'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?
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?"