Is there and should there be a minimum age to start tweeting? I personally feel that there should be. But the confusion is about exactly what it should be. While there are a million good things that happen on twitter all the time, there are also a lot of unpleasant and really bad things that happen too. As a parent, it is very important to have the ability and control to understand and regulate when your child gets on twitter
Twitter in particular is a slightly dicey place to be in if you are not old or mature enough to filter out the trash from what is on your timeline. There are a lot of bots that are floating around tweeting things that are really not appropriate even for my age. Why would I want my 8 year old to see them? There are are also a set of people who go about being abusive and rude without any reason. The choice of words they use are so vivid that even a sailor would go pink.
The easy access to dumb celebs who tweet all kinds of “wise” words is another thing that has me worried to no end. There are tweets that are very graphically inappropriate that come out of them.Would I be ok with my child seeing them and starting to think on those lines? I think not !
There is also another angle which all of you will identify with, it is a huge pressure on me when I know that a minor is following me.Every time I tweet, I have to worry about whether that tweet is ok with the minor reading it or not. There are instances when you talk about slightly PG rated stuff with folks and a minor following you wants to know more. All that you can do there is sheepishly withdraw and maybe use DMs to continue that conversation.
These are all really small and simple concerns when I am faced with the possibility of my child interacting with the wrong kind of person like a stalker or even even worse, a person with wrong interests in children. That possibility exists everywhere on the net, but then we have to admit that on twitter, it is that much more easier for these people to get access to a child’s handle .
The addictive nature of twitter is another worry. Twitter is like email on crack and the multitude of updates that keep happening all the time are heady for a child. The last thing that I would want is to get my child hooked on to the internet and/or twitter. That will have an adverse effect on the growing up and mental development of the child.
Considering all of the above, I would say that there needs to be a minimum age for tweeting and it should be atleast 15 if not more. I would like to take this chance to request the good folks at twitter to kindly take some steps in this direction. This will definitely help in the betterment of the use of twitter and ensure that many parents like me sleep more peacefully.