Twitter Say What?

May 15, 2013

I’ve gotten to know the customized message alert tone of my 11-year-old daughter’s IPOD pretty well since her grandfather bought it for her 16 months ago. It has become just another routine, household sound , much like the tick of our coffee table clock, the creak of the kitchen door, or the frequent snort from the family bulldog. More times than not, I think nothing of it.

Last night, for some reason–it could have been the fact my fiancee was distracted by her new Samsung Galaxy S3, or that my television was muted because my beloved basketball team was being handed a playoff beat down–that normally soft buzz emitted from my daughter’s social portal caught my attention like a smoke alarm. I proceeded to the area of our living room where all electronic devises charge, and quickly noticed a Twitter message from a user going by the name “Drunken 6th Grader.” I had a feeling what I was about to read wasn’t going to a be a quote from Gandhi.

The lines of profanity rivaled that of any E.L. James novel. I was incensed. For the next 15 minutes I scanned the long list of celebrities and friends my daughter has chosen to follow on Twitter, praying this was a one time fluke. Thankfully, it turned out my daughter’s Twitter feed had fallen victim to shoddy cyber security. Apparently this site is hacked on a regular basis.

The experience taught me a lesson. From now on, I will be conducting frequent social media scans of my child’s portable devices. That night after giving my daughter her goodnight hug, I couldn’t help but think of the Ariel Castros of the world, wondering how many girls he may have tried luring online. And now, with visual technology like Face Time, Snapchat and Skype available at a whim, predators have it easier than ever to dupe unsuspecting kids.

We as adults have to wake up.




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