Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Teen Tweets

It wasn't my intention to start stalking a bunch of teens on Twitter. It started out as an innocent curiosity to see what was being said about my town. On TweetDeck, I created a column to show mentions of the town. With one of the two high schools including the town's name, quite a few kids' tweets started showing up. I didn't pay any close attention until I started recognizing the names of the tweeters.

These were kids who had gone to elementary school with Eldest and Daughter and who were now in high school. Most were run-of-the-mill tweets that you wouldn't pay much attention to at all. Some, though, touted blatant use of drugs and alcohol. I created a private list and started adding all of the kids to it.

Not one to shy away from using obscenities myself, even I am sometimes shocked at the language of these 14- and 15- and 16-year-old schoolmates of my kids. But it is the references to being stoned or drunk that really stuns me. You want to know how stupid kids are? Read their tweets.

All of which leads me to this: do their parents have any idea of what they're up to? (I'm guessing they don't.) Are any parents on top of this? (I'm guessing they're not.) Do the parents want to know? (Again, I'm guessing they don't.) Am I the only one who knows how easy it is to privatize their accounts? (Seems like I am.)

But my main question is this: is there a line somewhere that has me, for example, tell the parents of this 16-year-old girl about this:

Or do I just go about my business, and let the 13-year-old brother find his own way?

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