Twitter for Children – What Parents Should Know

Lately, much concerns have boiled over the use of Twitter for Children. Many children are actually making use of Twitter even if Twitter does not allow those below 13 years old to use their site when basing on their terms of service. The Twitter site, on the other hand, does not keep kids from freely signing up and using the site. Some parents are pushing for twitter to do something about this.

These debates have come from the arising concerns over how social networking sites could provide children access to pornography sites and other such undesirable content. Twitter’s lack of a filtering system to prevent malicious content from its tweets has made it take much of the flak. People concerned over this are wanting Twitter to put up a sytem to keep malicious content out or maybe even keep the children out. Others would demand that Twitter do both.

A number of neurological experts have expressed their distress over children who make constant use of social networking sites would end up having increasingly short attention spans. They would even go as far as claiming that these things will lead to children being less tolerant and understanding of others. Defenders are quick to point out though that social networking has led to increased social interaction among kids while making them easily adapt to new technology.

There is also worry over how Twitter and other social networking sites could lead or help lead to a culture of instant gratification and self-absorption. A child having an account would have a page that is all about them and be able to view all the attention they get from their friends. This, they say, would lead to kids thinking that world revolves around them. Others would argue though that children would actually be more relationship-oriented, empathetic and more thoughtful of others. The reminders over events of significance to other people like their birthdays are usually displayed in a social networking page and would mean positively reinforcing thoughtfulness in children.

The critics tend to fail to see that Twitter and other social networking sites actually make for more sociable kids and make them more peer-based. Young people will be learning and teaching and receiving feedback from their social peers which would do wonders in the speed of their learning. Kids frequently using social networking sites would also tend to have longer term friendship since these sites allow for an avenue to keep in touch with them.

Twitter for Children is not necessarily good or bad. The child’s experience in twitter may positively or negatively influence him. What would matter most is that they be supervised and guided by parents to ensure that they enjoy the benefits of Twitter (or other social networking sites) while protecting your children from undesirable/harmful influence. It is the parents’ responsibility to make the Twitter for Children experience a largely positive one.

Read more top Twitter tips by Martin Sejas on the Twitter Tips Central blog. You can also download a fast start guide to mastering Twitter today.

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