When Worlds Collide (or My Son’s Friend Followed Me on Twitter!)

August 8, 2011

Over the weekend, I experienced a breech in security. My oldest son’s friend decided to follow me on Twitter. This is a first for me. Of course, I blocked the kid. I told my son that I follow adults and we talk about adult things, but it got me thinking about the whole social networking thing and who is following me and what they are seeing.

As of this writing, I’m just shy of 160 followers. That’s nothing compared to some “tweeple.” And I wonder once a person reaches 500 or 1000 followers, how does she know who’s following her? Does it matter? Is there something we can do to protect ourselves?

Of course, some writers don’t worry about this because their kids are babies or they’ve gone through great pains to hide their identities. But kids get older and unpublished writers become published. They build websites. They post headshots. They give online interviews. They answer readers’ questions for a blog. And all of this leaves a permanent online trail that could lead straight to their true identity…and an inappropriate, underage follower on Twitter or Facebook—or a silent “stalker” on a blog or webpage.

How do you deal with that? Do you temper what you say?

My husband says, “Change nothing.” He says that it’s not about what I write but instead about the fact that kids do not belong in an adult “work world.” And I agree, because even though I worked for the world’s most kid-friendly company (Disney) and held a social media presence, I would have blocked known children who followed me.

Kids don’t belong in an adult work world. But that doesn’t mean they won’t find a way in…

How would you feel about a friend of your teenager following your online activities? Do you think the only answer is protected (locked) social media accounts? But how does that look to readers, editors and agents—in other words, the appropriate audience you’re trying to build? And what about blogs and websites that can’t be protected? Should you censor what you say? Or is it just an oh-well-who-cares topic? Share your thoughts!

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3 Responses to “When Worlds Collide (or My Son’s Friend Followed Me on Twitter!)”

  1. Joanne Robinson Says:

    just going through this at the moment. my daughter is very upset about what i am writing cos some of her friends are my friends on twitter, she is ashamed!! I told her…. don’t go there then. been v traumatic,(they are in their twenty’s for goodness sake.)
    and FB etc etc… now as far as i am concerned its up to them.. they don’t have to follow me read it etc. its difficult because i am very proud of what i have acieved, so is o.h. and my boys. is it a girl thing?

    We cant sensor what we write, because then we are not true to ourselves!


  2. Thanks so much for this, Joanne! It means a lot to know I’m not alone in the experience and to have encouragement.

    E

  3. Joanne Robinson Says:

    you are def not alone….i feel very outo f the loop atm. but hey others are fine with it so iam feeling strong.. i think lol

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