Well, parents, I’m sure that there are times, perhaps multiple times, when you caution your teens about doing something negative online, particularly on social media, for fear of possible repercussions. It’s probably also true that you’ve never suggested something positive that your teen could do on social media, short of cleaning up his profile.
We’ve got a suggestion for you – if your teen is into reading, he should be on Twitter.
I was taking a quick look at my bookcase this morning, and I was surprised to see how many books that I own (and have read) where I also follow the author on Twitter. To name a few:
Alexis Ohanion – founder of Reddit, investor and open internet advocate
Ben Horowitz – Famous venture capitalist and technology and organizational thinker
Stephen King – one of my favorite authors since I was 10 years old or so
James Altucher – one of the best motivational writers around these days (plus a lot of other things)
Plus at least half a dozen more.
This is one of the best ways to use Twitter in my opinion – I might be able to find an email address for one of the above people, but the chance of getting a reply, or meeting in person, is slim indeed. If there is an author that a teen is interested in, twitter offers the ability, free of cost and not requiring permission, to hear the latest news and thoughts in real time. Same goes for any topic or person.
From what we’ve seen (and we’ve seen a lot) the majority of teen Twitter users are either there because they have a lot to say, or because they are into sports or like to follow celebrities.
If your teen is into literature, or physics or philanthropy or rare animals, Twitter can be a wonderful place to broaden one’s horizons in real time. Tell them to check it out.
Worried about cyberbullying? You don’t have to be. He can set his account to private and either carefully curate follow requests, or not accept follow requests from anyone – just be a spectator.
By the way, even though Twitter’s search function can be quirky, a Google search for “Stephen King Twitter” works like a charm.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.