A Parent’s Guide to Social Media: Twitter

Child monitoring - twitter

Parents, confused about Twitter? We have your back…

Twitter is an online forum where anyone can share his or her thoughts about anything by tweeting. Through the website or the smartphone app, users can post their tweets publicly or to a controlled audience as well as interact with others’ tweets by liking, retweeting, or replying to them.

Twitter – Key Terms:

Tweet – a message of 280 characters (meaning letters, punctuation, spaces, etc.) which can also include pictures, videos, and gifs (moving images).

Timeline – where your Tweets, along with everyone else’s that you follow, appear. Being on Twitter is a combination of tweeting and scrolling through your timeline to see everyone else’s tweets.

Follow – when you follow someone, it means that all of their tweets, retweets, and replies will appear on your timeline. When someone follows you, all of your tweets, retweets, and replies will appear on his or her timeline.

Retweet (RT) – when there’s someone else’s tweet that you want on your profile so that it will appear on your followers’ timelines.

DM – short for “direct message.” If someone DMs you or you DM someone, only you and that other person can see the message.

subtweet – when someone tweets about someone else without mentioning his or her name and/or tagging his or her Twitter username.

hashtag (#) – a way to group your tweet with all other tweets with that same hashtag.

live tweet – to tweet about something as it is happening in real time.

Important Privacy “Need-To- Knows” Before You Go:

  • When you create a Twitter profile, it is automatically public, which means anyone on or off Twitter can view everything on your profile, which includes your tweets, retweets, quoted tweets, replies, liked tweets, who you follow, and who follows you. Making your Twitter profile private only allows people who follow you to view your entire profile, while everyone else can only see your profile picture, cover photo, how many people you follow, and how many people follow you. Also, making your account private allows you to accept and decline requests for people to follow you. To change the privacy settings on your account, open Twitter, go to “Settings and privacy,” click “Privacy and safety,” and then switch “Protect your Tweets” either on or off depending on your preference.
  • If you no longer want someone to have access to your Twitter profile for any reason, you can block him or her. That person will not be able to see anything on your profile or be able to message you and you will also no longer see his or her tweets on your timeline or be able to message him or her. In order to block someone, go to his or her profile, press the settings icon (the gear), and click “Block.”

Jiminy – Parental Control on Android Phone

If your child is using Twitter on an Android app, you should consider getting Jiminy – parental control on Android phone. Jiminy is an app that helps parents better understand their child’s life, online and offline.

Read more of our social media guides for parents:
A Parent’s Guide to Social Media: Facebook
A Parent’s Guide to Social Media: Snapchat
A Parent’s Guide to Social Media: Instagram
How can parents monitor Instagram?

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