Twitter has been around for 12 years now and is a renowned social media platform for posting seemingly cryptic messages with no content filtering. The company doesn’t censor posts made by users on the platform. The implication of this is the exposure of kids to unruly content that might be damaging to the child’s overall psyche. Generally, Twitter for kids is not such a good idea; at least, you need to be 13 years old to register on the platform.
However, just like many other social media platforms, this check can be easily circumvented by kids bent on exploring the social media world. A slight tweak of age on the registration platform easily beats this check. Therefore, there’s a high need to protect your kids from undue exposure to the ill whims of Twitter. We will be reviewing all you need to know about this sensational platform.
What Is Twitter, and How Does It Work?
Twitter is a social media platform designed to keep users engaging and interacting constantly. It is designed for short and cryptic texts (maximum 280 characters), meaning you have to get your message across quickly. The good thing about Twitter is that users have significant control over the content they are exposed to, as you often only see tweets from accounts you follow. However, there could be a downside in the form of “retweets” – a situation where someone your child follows retweets something from another account, thus exposing your child to tweets from strangers. These tweets could contain some untoward content as Twitter doesn’t censor the contents on its website.
Since many people share varying opinions on Twitter, and it is often easy to view tweets either through retweets or direct messaging, your child could be prone to misinformation. Therefore, you should have conversations with your child about how important it is to verify the information they find on the internet, as many could be misleading.
What Makes Twitter for Kids a Thing?
The curiosity that comes with kids approaching their teenage years often propels them to seek to explore. Many kids join Twitter to follow a brand or a celebrity of choice. The kids often use Twitter as a getaway from their normal activities as they rely on it as a source of information and networking. It is important to note that many kids come on Twitter not to share their ideas or thoughts but instead to follow their celebrities and as a show of status amongst friends.
Twitter, like other social media platforms, could have varying degrees of effects on kids. One of the prominent effects is addiction. It is common for kids to become addicted to Twitter and often limit interaction with physical and live pals as they become too engrossed with their Internet personality. Despite this, there are both good and bad effects of Twitter on kids:
- Networking: With the rise in the number of opportunities on the internet today, kids could be better off having a Twitter account. If you have a talented kid and seek cheap publicity, Twitter could be just the right platform to help you promote your child’s act. When many people engage your child’s tweet, you could easily earn money from the popularity and get the exposure to the proper connection to enhance your kid’s art.
- Information: Twitter provides an avenue for cheap access to information. You can always get the requisite information concerning your various fields on Twitter, depending on the accounts or brands you are following. However, it is essential to verify this information and Do Your Research (DYOR).
- Addiction: it is not rare to see kids glued to their devices. Most kids are often addicted to Twitter once they start its usage, especially when they have a large follower base. It might affect their school work as they feel the urgent need to respond to chats and tweets that interest them.
- Peer Influence: With numerous uncensored information on Twitter, kids are often exposed to varying thoughts. They might be influenced by the ideal status, looks, and other factors, which might affect their interaction with their rather life peers as they seek to meet social media standards.
- Cyberbullying: Twitter is addictive; hence many kids spend a significant amount of time on the platform. They might be exposed to tweets directed at intimidating and threats from fellow tweeps, which might affect their mental health.
- Unhealthy comparisons: Kids are impressionable and likely to compare their life with idealized images on the platform. This often results in depression as they tend to stop feeling joy from their everyday activities.
7 Things Parents Need to Know About Twitter
Below are seven things you need to know about Twitter if your child is signed on or intends to join it and make a safe Twitter for kids.
No Minimum Age Sign Up
It is easy to circumvent the age limit of 13 sign up on social media platforms, and Twitter is no exception.
Tweets Can’t Be Edited
Your kid could delete posted tweets but can’t edit them. Hence, it is essential that you monitor the manner of tweets your child is allowed to post.
Tweets Can Spread Easily
The ability to retweet a message on Twitter makes it possible for a post to a seemingly small group of followers to go viral as more and more people retweet it.
Tweets Can Be Stamped with Location
The good thing is that this option is turned off by default. Though, it is still in your best interests to ensure your kid doesn’t reveal their location to strangers on the internet.
Tweets Are Public
Unless your kid manually changes their privacy settings for tweets, tweets are public by default. By implication, one wrong tweet could have a damaging effect on your kid.
Kids Can Have Private Conversations with Followers
Sending mass updates isn’t the only way to communicate on Twitter, as users can send direct messages to other users on the platform and hold private conversations.
Images and Videos Could Be Included in Tweets
Despite the limit on word characters per tweet, users can still post videos and images which could communicate a thousand words, and when a kid spends so much time on Twitter, they might figure out how to see sensitive content on Twitter.
Twitter Safety Tips for Parents
The prevalence of social media platforms has made it a necessity for parents to be concerned about the overall welfare of their kids. They must take conscious steps to ensure their kids are not unduly exposed to the nefarious content on Twitter parental control by enhancing and enforcing the following safety tips:
- Advise your kids to generate strong passwords that can’t be hacked. This measure will prevent unauthorized users from accessing your kids’ account and posting damaging content on behalf of the victim.
- Endeavor to configure privacy settings: You can help set up privacy settings to limit the number of people privy to your kid’s tweets while limiting time for kids on Twitter.
- Don’t share personal information: The popular term “catfish” implies there could be someone lurking under the guise of another account and could steal personal information about time for kids, so ensure to keep your information private.
Other advice that you can give your kids includes:
- Avoid befriending strangers
- Tweet wisely to avoid repercussions
- Do not click on random links
- Make sure to install an anti-malware
How Can uMobix Help?
You do not want your child roaming the streets of Twitter without any form of a parental guide, as this could be tantamount to negligence. Therefore, you can employ the services of uMobix Twitter parental controls to help you monitor and make Twitter for kids safe.
Features of uMobix
Below are features of uMobix you can utilize to protect your child
- Monitor Browser: Once you have created a backup on this app, it alerts you to browser activities on the device you intend to monitor.
- Track Calls: uMobix is a phone tracking app that allows you to track incoming and outgoing calls. You can leverage this to ascertain your child’s frequent caller and the relationship.
- Access Social apps: With uMobix, you have unlimited access to your kid’s social app and can easily track their interaction and implement block action for damaging sites.
- View Contact lists: With uMobix, you have access to your kid’s contact list, with which you can track their activities.
Is there an age limit for Twitter?
What age is Twitter appropriate for? Twitter does have an age limit. It requires users onboarding on the site to be of a minimum age of 13. Though, kids who are determined to sign on can easily circumvent this requirement by imputing false information. However, it is often difficult to determine what age Twitter is appropriate for because it could affect kids, teenagers, and even adults in any way.
How do I make Twitter child-friendly? Is Twitter safe for kids?
You can make your Twitter for kids safe by following the below steps:
- Go to the settings and menu option on the dropdown.
- Then proceed to select “Privacy and safety.”
- Then under “Audience and tagging,” select the option “Protect your tweets.”
The steps above will ensure that only people and followers you approve of can see your child’s tweets.
Is it possible to stamp tweets with the person’s location?
Once you enable precise location, it is then possible for you to attach a location to your tweet. Hence, you must be careful about stamping your tweet with your location to prevent internet crawlers from paying you an unwelcome visit or unconsciously exposing your information to strangers.