No I’m not talking about stalking your kids, well maybe a little. The fact is we all find ourselves at a loss when it comes to understanding what our kids are into or dealing with. There are many resources out there that can help you be “in the know” but it can be overwhelming.
I just want to share with you 3 suggestions for how you can use Twitter to be more informed about what your kids are up to.
First of all you need to know that Twitter is one of the most popular social sharing sites out there. With 500 million active users it is exciting and scary at the same time. It has actually become so popular that The Library of Congress gained permission to start archiving all tweets. So if you are not on Twitter but decide to start using it after this post, use at your own risk. Check out things like Getting started Michael Hyatt, and find out about privacy and safety on the Twitter Support site before you just jump in head first.
That said, I have really enjoyed using Twitter. In fact I like it better than Facebook, but that’s just my opinion. I have found that it can be very helpful to do short, easy searches for what I’m working on and it works for parenting as well.
1. Hashtags or searches. On Twitter you can choose to search by a topic and even save that search. Doing this makes it easy to find similar resources or new ones on that topic. The hashtag symbol (#) is used to tag your own tweets and then look at “trending” topics using the twitter service. This makes it easy to search things like #Parenting, #teens, TV show titles, or current events.
2. Users. Many major brands and companies as well as plenty of popular people have a Twitter account. If you find your child interested in a video game, movie or brand you aren’t familiar with you will likely find a Twitter account for them. At the very least you will find people talking about them. Here is a list of some of my favorite accounts to follow.
3. Your kids and their friends. No this is NOT stalking. As parents we have to stop thinking that it is. Twitter is on the World Wide Web. The point is for the information to be out there for people to see. I believe as parents we have a responsibility to our children to know what they are up to. I would encourage you to think of this as a way you can show your kids you care and when they say to leave them alone, let them know you love them too much to do that. One day they will understand, but if you don’t do that now you may not have the relationship later to find that out.
What other ways do you use Twitter? I’m excited to learn from your experience.
[Disclosure: Like most sites on the web Twitter also has content that can be inappropriate for children and even adults. I do not intend to promote or condone this and neither does Teen Lifeline. I would encourage you to take measures to keep any objectionable content off your web enabled devices as best you can.]