Advanced search

Saw my God-daughter's Twitter account

(27 Posts)
StabInTheDark Sun 05-May-13 22:35:12

I have my God-daughter (14) as a friend on Facebook, and this afternoon I saw that she'd posted a link to her Twitter account. I had a quick look (nosy God-mother alert) and was quite frankly horrified by some of the things she was tweeting! Foul language (almost every other word!!), lots of sexual innuendo, tons of references to sex and drinking, lots of bitchy comments about other girls...

Now I always believed I knew my God-daughter pretty well. But I know her as a funny, sweet (if sometimes a bit stroppy) girl, and I would have never expected these sort of posts from her. As far as I'm aware, she doesn't drink, and doesn't cause her parents too much trouble! Her Facebook is filled with the typical pouty photos and trivial posts I have come to expect from teenagers (my own DDs, nieces and their friends are the same), but nothing like this!! I am wondering if she wasn't expecting me/any other adults to see this Twitter account?

I don't know whether I'm overreacting, but my first thought is to phone up the little madam and ask her why she thinks it's okay to post this sort of thing! But then she'll only go and make it private, and I'm more bothered about understanding whether this is how she is, and I just don't know it, or whether it's just a 'trying to fit in, this is what everyone does' type of situation.

I can't help but think about the Paris Brown situation and I wonder if this sort of discussion with my God-daughter might make her understand how these posts could have an impact on her later on in life?

Has anybody else dealt with something similar? Not sure how to go about dealing with it, or whether I'm just overreacting and all teenagers do this...

secretscwirrels Mon 06-May-13 09:25:31

Yes Twitter. I suspect that those (sadly few) parents who bother to police on line access only look at Facebook and forget about Twitter.
I have been observing DS2's Twitter account for a while. He knows I have access to his FB and I bang on incessantly about social media presence. He may slip in the odd swear word but otherwise sticks to things that would pass the "grandma test".
His friends however are a different matter. Well behaved well brought up DCs from lovely families seem to turn into foul mouthed, sex obsessed maniacs on Twitter. I have a dilemma about one in particular but it's not my role to police the internet.
Now as far as I know there are no privacy settings on twitter so she couldn't reset those if you tackled her. On the other hand it's a bit more like Mumsnet in that they often use made up names so she could de- register and re- register in a new name.

I haven't helped really as I am struggling with this myself, but as a mother I would want to be told.

flow4 Mon 06-May-13 09:52:43

You can't make Twitter private. It is entirely public; and anyone can see your Tweets - literally anyone - not just friends. As one of my colleagues once wisely said "You shouldn't put anything on Twitter that you wouldn't stand on your doorstep and shout down your street"! grin

By all means talk to her. Make sure she realises how public her Tweets are. But bear in mind it's entirely normal for teenagers to present one side of themselves to their friends, and a very different side to their parents and god-parents... You've strayed into friend 'territory', and if you don't like it, you are probably best off staying away.

codswallopandchips Mon 06-May-13 09:57:38

Just a quick correction - you can protect your twitter account, which locks it and means that only people you accept as followers can see what you write.

Don't have any advice re:tweets, though - my DD's not quite at that stage yet so I have my head firmly stuck in the sand in between giving social media responsibility lectures!

flow4 Mon 06-May-13 10:21:27

Can you cods? You definitely couldn't when I started using Twitter, which is why I stooped. Can you tell me how, or point me in the right direction, please? smile

chocoluvva Mon 06-May-13 10:25:11

You can set your tweets to be seen only by your followers.

When my 16YO asked if she could go into town with a 17YO boy she'd never mentioned before, in his car I secretly googled him and found his twitter account. (I said no to going in his car btw). It took all of 5 minutes. I could hardly believe it. (It helped that he lives in a very small place though)

The language used by so many young people is horrible IMO. FWIW, I think they're at their worst, language-wise when they're 14/15. I assume it's trying to impress.

DD's new friend, who I've since met and really like, has photos taken in a classroom during class time on his profile and moderate bad language, but nothing nasty. I think it's awful to not even be able to sit in a classroom doing schoolwork without appearing on the internet. The class friend probably doesn't mind though and DD's friend probably doesn't think there's anything wrong with it. It seems to be a generational thing. They've grown up with this. It's how they conduct their social lives.

I worry about my DD's amount of time spent on FB, Instagram and Snapchat. I feel she's frittering away huge amounts of time at the expense of her schoolwork and feeding her lack of confidence in herself by constantly checking how many likes she has. IME confidence comes from doing things. It's a constant distraction from developing your own interests IMO.

The impression I've got - though I could well be wrong - is that, with a few exceptions, the most studious kids don't spend so much time on twitter etc.

Sorry, I don't suppose this long post is any help. It really struck a chord with me. You'll get posters telling you not to snoop and up to a point they're right. On the other hand, it's incredible that so many young people don't seem to bother to check their privacy settings and it's a window on to their lives - which can be useful when they have 24hour access to the influence of their friends, acquaintances and strangers.

HotCrossPun Mon 06-May-13 10:27:25

You just go onto account settings Flow, mines is private too.

chocoluvva Mon 06-May-13 10:27:35

Cross-posted. Good advice about the tweets not being meant to be seen by you. They're written within a context known and understood by the senders and recipients. We are eavesdropping.

chocoluvva Mon 06-May-13 10:28:35

My account is "protected" too. ie private

flow4 Mon 06-May-13 10:30:42

Right, thanks, I'll see if I can work it out. I can do just about anything on FB but I must say I find Twitter much harder to navigate...

chocoluvva Mon 06-May-13 10:34:14

I don't really 'get' it either. Sometimes people tweet into a vacuum, but othertimes they have conversations. Do tweets come up in a newsfeed type thing on your smartphone?

FiftyshadesofYoni Mon 06-May-13 10:45:21

Twitter accounts can be set to private now, and I think that gives teens a certain bravado with language, opinions etc.

But it's just an escape/release from rl pressure's, didn't we all present two different faces to family and friends when we were teenagers?

FiftyshadesofYoni Mon 06-May-13 10:45:38

Twitter accounts can be set to private now, and I think that gives teens a certain bravado with language, opinions etc.

But it's just an escape/release from rl pressure's, didn't we all present two different faces to family and friends when we were teenagers?

FiftyshadesofYoni Mon 06-May-13 10:46:21

Whoops trigger happy with the post button, sorry

StabInTheDark Mon 06-May-13 14:24:21

chocoluvva Yes, tweets come up in a newsfeed, a little bit like Facebook status', but if you are 'mentioned' by somebody, you are notified. (Asked DDs)

I think the general consensus seems to be that I shouldn't read these posts, and I agree up to a point- obviously there are things she wouldn't want me to see, and I'm fine with that. But what bothers me is that she posted the link for all to see, I arrived on her Twitter page without any snooping, which if I can do, anyone can do. As we've seen through what happened with Paris Brown, immature and rude posts (even if simply teenage bravado) can come back to bite you later on.

I'm thinking about a discussion on privacy settings- hoping she might be a tad embarrassed that her God-mother has seen the side purely intended for friends to see!

chocoluvva Mon 06-May-13 14:44:27


It's difficult isn't it? On the one hand teenagers go on about having their right to privacy respected, on the other hand they're unbelievably careless.

You could ask her if she'd mind you following her!

My DD has her granny and a couple of aunties as FB friends. Not me though.

StabInTheDark Mon 06-May-13 16:11:20

Ahhh I like the idea of asking if she'd mind me 'following' her!! grin

My teenage DDs, nieces and nephews and God-daughter all have me as a Facebook friend, and sometimes I get the feeling that they monitor what goes on there... I have wised up regarding the quick 'untagging' of photos the morning after a party!!

Happymum22 Mon 06-May-13 18:31:45

Agree with other posters- ask to 'follow' her!! Don't bring up all the bad things you have seen, just comment you saw she has it and that she tweets regularly and so can you follow her.
Also maybe subtly say you noticed that her twitter isn't protected (made private, i.e. anyone can read it) and would she like you to show her how to make it safer. Even if it is private it doesn't fully address the issue, but it reminds her anyone can see it at the moment and hence anyone can see her posts.

I think telling her, or her mother, you saw the posts and how disgusting they are will do nothing but cause a strop and embarrassed, angry reaction, ruining your relationship. I've learnt, there are simpler but more effective ways of getting the message across smile

Jimalfie Tue 07-May-13 09:58:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chocoluvva Tue 07-May-13 12:15:53

Oh Jimalfie that makes me feel less guilty about my twitter-reading. Apart from the keen boy with the car, I've limited it to people around her age who I don't know. As Happymum says DD would be very emabarrassed to think I'd been reading her friends tweets. I've nevertheless got a feel for what's currently 'normal behaviour' for the local teens. I like to think I'm slightly more likely to be able to give her relevant advice (not that she's likely to take it).

Jimalfie Tue 07-May-13 20:40:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

amumthatcares Wed 08-May-13 12:08:11

Wow, just read this and had absolutely no idea I could Google my DD'd Twitter account. Just tried it and saw all her tweets.

Not disappointed by what I read, but not sure I want to read everything...these things can so easily be misconstrued

rainbowslollipops Thu 09-May-13 19:48:09

The difference is Paris Brown was meant to be a "idol" for other youngsters. Unless your god daughter is about to do.the same then.she's just doing what teenage girls do. They bitch, they make sexual comments that they think are funny and they swear.

StabInTheDark Thu 09-May-13 22:03:47

I'd argue that Paris Brown was actually just supposed to represent 'real' teenagers... but more commonly, employers are making checks on social networking sites before offering someone a job, and the Paris Brown example shows how tweeting immature things can backfire!

CitizenOscar Thu 09-May-13 22:24:07

I'd just start following her, from a twitter account in your real name. Might just remind her how public it is. I don't think anyone should feel like they're "eavesdropping" on someone's public tweets. They are completely public (unless they've protected their account) and it's important teenagers are aware of this.

Employers, college staff, prospective uni admissions staff etc WILL google candidates and WILL find these public tweets and WILL judge the people who have tweeted. It's not like facebook, where anyone with any sense has decent privacy settings. Twitter is intended to be public and your tweets make up a large part of your Internet footprint.

It depends on your relationship with your goddaughter but it might be an idea to mention that to her. I wouldn't be too worried about the content of her tweets myself, as teenagers are mostly bluster IME, but I would be worried for her in terms of how others might judge her in the future. It is hard to delete one's digital footprint.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: