Teaching children how to tweet

Teaching children to tweet

I came across an interesting article on New scientist titled “Do we teach our children to tweet?” written by Nic Flemming. The article though short examines and points out the critical elements that we sometimes overlook when we parent our children.

Parents guidance is utmost necessary in steering children to use social media  in a responsible and at the same time in an enjoyable manner.

Can social media usage be appropriate?

If so, then what are the guidelines?

Read on…

Social media has become quite popular ever since Mark Zuckerberg came along. But then the risks of using it particularly for the younger crowd are more worrisome. Some say the benefits outweigh the risks as it expands their horizons and makes them a divergent thinker.

As you would know, the minimum age (official) to use or rather to participate and entertain is 13 for Facebook, Whats app, Instagram and Snap chat.

Ann Long field who is the children’s commissioner for England made a study on the impact of social media use on 8 to 12 year olds. The study was published last week.  Her study showed starkling results and there was a contrast.  Children enjoyed sharing these jokes and staying connected with family and friends but at the same time expressed anguish that they had to be compete unreasonably for being in the limelight and be the talk of the community.

Constantly being online and commenting to posts takes a toll. This involves shaping their own personal activities to make them more attractive to their peers so that they can share them online.  There is a constant pressure to fit in.

However considering the circumstances, it could be either healthy or detrimental depending on how you look at it.

It also creates a kind of competitive peer pressure.

For example, if somebody is into something novel and exotic like ice skating or simply about how much home work or exam preparations they have covered creates a competitive pressure. It is difficult for  ten year olds to stay away from it.

Such peer pressure existed even before the likes of FB and Snapchat  came along in the earlier generations. But then such pressure to confirm came from outside of their immediate circle – people or friends who were outside of their homes and also probably through face to face interactions at school.

Now with the use of social media, the 8-10 year olds have the whole world to interact, share and also to learn a lot more.

‘Now the pressure could come from any of the 3 Billion online and follows them from school to home and even continues through the night’ says Beeban kidrow, Founder of 5 rights, a campaign group for children rights online.

Parents are increasingly apprehensive and would want to know how they can protect their children online. We cannot be too liberal in the name of gaining worldly awareness and at the same time be overly protective.

According to Kidrow, it is better to understand the childhood milestones and see the child fits in or what is appropriate for social media use.

The childhood milestone guidelines are below.

  1. At the age of 5, there is increased dependency on parents and carers for security and guidance.
  2. From 6 to 11- There is increased independence and self care.
  3. From 12 – 18 – There is a growing dependency on peers (away from parents) and autonomy.

It is time that we need to assess the suitability of social media use based on our children’s age. Parents are begining to understand such messages and they are providing guidance to their children and this is needed even before children reach the secondary school.

It is good to look at social media use for children holistically rather than focusing only on the potential negatives. It would be good to say social media usage is good but there is a caution to use it responsibly. The onus falls on parents to teach and expose children to social media use in a right and  appropriate manner.

Finding work in a new country via social media

New country

Sometimes the world of work does not limit us to one space, or even one country. In the various adventures through life, we can actually find ourselves working in a variety of new and wonderful places. But, whilst also having to get your tier 2 visa in place, you also need to actually have a job as well.

It’s not always a matter of choice either, sometimes we need to find a job in a new place through circumstances, shall we say, not of your own choosing. Which is why finding a job fast and through unusual methods is paramount in the modern day. This is where social media plays a part. With dozens of different social media channels, there are plenty of opportunities for you to find work in other countries whilst surfing the web on a daily basis.

Examples of good networks to focus your job search include the following:


This is the ultimate job social network, with people signed up around the world. Chances are you should be able to find the job of your dreams, no matter your location, whilst on a casual browse through the sites ‘job’ section. If not, it’s a great site to experience a number of networking opportunities. Especially considering there are 467 million members on LinkedIn right now.

In recent years, the capability of LinkedIn job search has improved even further as it overtakes over more traditional job search platforms. If you have the idea that you may have to work abroad eventually, then it’s always a good idea to join LinkedIn well ahead of any actual move dates or decision-making periods.

To best optimize this site for your job searches, ensure that you have these

things in order:

  • A nice, clear, professional photo of yourself.
  • Full work history, showing the key skills you picked up along the way.
  • Publications and certifications.
  • Education – don’t lie!
  • Recommendations and reviews from other people is also a huge help, as it shows people that not only are you a real person but good enough to cause people to comment on it.
  • Grow your connections list, don’t be afraid to add people – they could be your gateway into a brilliant overseas career change.


Brief messages are the aim of the Twitter platform – even in spite of the longer length allowance recently introduced. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to find a job on this microblogging platform. It does, however, require more of a strategy than your typical social media job searches.

Your first step should always be to follow people in your desired industry or field of work, this means you have a newsfeed full of relevant news and information when you need it. Industry professionals often Tweet or talk about opportunities in their field, so it’s best to follow them in order to be one of the first to know. Likewise, it may give you the opportunity to check out their hiring trends.

Next, you need to post. Talk about looking for a job in your industry. Join in industry conversions. And, most importantly, don’t forget to fully utilise the power of hashtags! You never know who could be searching for the relevant hashtags to find you, so always be on top of those.

Again, Twitter is another platform that is used for networking opportunities. Talk to people you look up to in your industry, ask them questions and engage as much as possible. You may be surprised by what happens.


Recently, Facebook has announced a move away from the more commercial road that the social site has taken in recent years. Meaning that you will begin to see more content from your friends and family. A great thing, when it comes to your potential job opportunities.

The right post at the right time could be exactly what your overseas career needs. After all, you never know who your Facebook network may be connected to outside of the app. Someone who may just be a random connection to you might actually be the link you need to get a good word in at your dream company. You never know, which is often the case when it comes to your networking opportunities. Sure, Facebook may be on a more personal level; but, that doesn’t mean that the opportunities are not there!


Okay, this one may seem like a long shot. But stranger things have happened during a job hunt. It may seem like ‘just’ a photo posting website, yet there are lots of hidden career opportunities in another country lurking beneath the surface. If you are looking for a more creative career, in particular, then this may be the perfect social media platform for you.

Take the time to post a picture. Again, engage with the community you are seeking to be a part of. Then make way for the growth of opportunities that you find when you actually look for them.

At the end of the day, if you really want to find a great career in another country then you will be open to using unusual methods to do. Including social media that you do not typically associate with job hunting. It’s a long shot, but certainly more than beneficial if it actually works out for you!

How to Get More Users to Follow You on Twitter This 2018

technology office

Although to buy Twitter followers is one of the popular strategies by most marketers recently, it is not enough to give your brand a solid authority online. The real challenge is how to retain these people and make them loyal followers. It can be a challenge to increase your number of followers, but it is indeed possible. Here are some strategies you can use to attract more users to your Twitter account this 2018.

Reasons to Gain More Followers on Twitter

Here’s a list of the benefits that you can reap from having a solid fan base on Twitter:

  • Improving Social Reputation- Most Internet users believe that the number of followers you have equates to how interesting or knowledgeable you are. Although it should not be the case, this is how the World Wide Web works because of the ranking system.
  • Expanding Your Influence- With a 140-character limit, Twitter is a good platform for sharing ideas without making your potential followers feel overwhelmed. If you want to your Tweet to reach out to many people, Twitter gets it easily done for you. The more followers you have, the more shares and retweets you’ll get.
  • Increasing Revenue- Because Twitter is a social media platform, people join here to connect with other users, make themselves entertained, or do business. Whatever you are trying to promote, Twitter can help in generating more conversions and leads.

Ways to Have More Followers on Twitter

Now, you know why it is vital to have many followers on Twitter, and that buying Twitter followers is not the only solution. It is time for you to learn how to make users click the “Follow” button. 

Do not hide your face

When choosing a photo for your account, you should upload a photo of yourself. Most users do not follow an account without an actual photo because it seems like a spam account. Uploading a photo with a good headshot will do. If taking photos is not your forte, you can search on Google for profile photo-taking techniques. 

Have you read?

1.  Pros and cons of social networking in the modern world
2.  Degrees of connection: spread the goodness and kindness
3.  Six Degrees of separation: Are we socially close in a social network

Make your Twitter bio interesting

You can buy Twitter followers in an instant just like what most marketers and content creators do, but you need to keep your bio interesting if you want them to keep following you. You should not take your bio for granted. Thus, your profile should make the first impression on them. A tagline and a city name are some of the details you should include. In addition, if you do not have your complete name, username, and bio, Twitter will not include your account in the search results. 

Personalize an About page for your account

Since the bio part of your account can only have 160 characters, it is not enough to convince users how interesting and engaging your page is. Therefore, you should think of making a custom “About Us” section in your website or blog and linking your Twitter account to it. It will be easier for potential followers to stumble onto your Twitter account. 

Make your presence known

When you buy Twitter followers, they improve the figures of your account. However, it takes much effort to retain followers who are really interested in what you post and help make your presence known. It is highly important to include the direct link to your Twitter account to your blog or website, other social media accounts, email signature, business cards, etc. Doing this will help people locate your Twitter account. If they happen to be your target audience, there’s a high chance they will follow you on the platform. 

Impart interesting content

Sharing thought-provoking content is one of the most important things you should consider. Make sure your content is something that users can look forward to since this is the main strategy to get your posts retweeted. When your Tweets reach out to more people, it will result in more followers.

Do not flood your account with Tweets

If you post too many times in a day, your followers’ excitement might lessen and end up feeling overwhelmed because you flood them with Tweets. Thus, It will be better to post frequently.

Your Tweets should be simple and short

If you do this, your followers will likely to retweet. Retweeting is the sole method to reach out and get the attention of users who do not follow you. That is why it is important that your Tweets are short enough to be retweeted. Include RT@your username in the character count so that people can add it to their Tweets. For example, if your account’s name is Maria, count all the characters RT@Maria has before typing your Tweet.

Request for retweets, but do not abuse it

According to research, if you ask followers to retweet, it is 4 times likely that they will do it. You can do this by including a short phrase asking for a retweet. This is effective because you have a call to action, but please be reminded that this strategy might be annoying to other users.

Follow other users who can relate to you

Buying Twitter followers and doing following aggressively might be an excellent tactic to some in increasing the number of followers. However, you should bear in mind that what works for them may not work for you. You can buy Twitter followers and see if it gives you the results that you want. Moreover, you ought to follow users who are in the same industry as you, users whom you have similar keywords with, and the users your followers follow. Some of these users will definitely follow you back. You should take advantage of the advanced search on Twitter in order to find these kinds of users easily.

Link and retweet other people

Because Twitter is a social networking platform, the culture of sharing is present. If you link other users, they will do the same thing in return. This is the key to growing your number of followers. These users will introduce you to other users who have not known the existence of your account.


There is indeed no shortcut to growing your Twitter following. Even if you avail the service of buying Twitter followers, you still need much time and effort to achieve it. If you want followers who are genuine and engaging, you ought to try the methods given to increase your own Twitter community.

Give Into Your Random Thoughts

stones-random thoughts
According to scientists, we can be benefited by random thoughts and helps in our creative thinking. The secret lies in how ‘we respond to  it’. Random thoughts need to be embraced and exploited to see ‘who you are’ says  our guest author. Her post is below. Looking at the stones and pebbles by the stream or by the river side brings tranquility. Image credit: Pixabay

Most of us have had the experience when a random thought pops into our head. Maybe you’re discussing a work project, and suddenly you think of your friend who got engaged and how you have to buy a wedding gift.

These random thoughts can be triggered by certain words, but they can also come days later about something you were doing.

Some people see these random thoughts as unproductive or a waste of time and try to suppress them the second they pop up. However, there’s a scientific reason for these random thoughts to occur and reasons to embrace them.

Random thoughts can be used as a spontaneous idea trigger.  Such intrusive thoughts are  beneficial. You can try the above simple experiment by rolling some vegetables peas at random on your kitchen table. See the patterns it generates. It helps in generating new ideas. Video credit : Pixabay

Spontaneous Thinking Might Be Our Natural State

There’s a group of brain scientists who believe that our brain’s natural state is a state of random thoughts. This is not a new idea. Sigmund Freud analyzed random thoughts as a form of psychological treatment.

So, how are random thoughts a normal state of being?

Random thoughts come from a default network of neurons in the brain. It allows your mind to wander freely in the past and present. It reflects on things you’ve done and how you could imagine yourself in the future. This makes sense, too. Consider a person who, when lost in thought, thinks about something he did last week and maybe over analyzes it. Consider another person who’s looking forward to the vacation she’s about to take and is imagining all the activities she’s going to do while there.

It can also make sense given concentrating on tasks can be difficult for many people. Even if you are good at focusing on tasks in the present, consider how mentally taxing it is to maintain that focus. It takes a significant mental effort to focus on a task in the present whether it’s painting a wall or writing a report.

How Are Random Thoughts Beneficial?

Having random thoughts is a sign your brain is working normally. Scientists believe that these spontaneous ideas are likely due to our brains processing memories and preparing to store them. They can also be a sign of creative thinking.

As your brain processes memories for storage, it forms new neural connections to other related memories. Those new neural connections make it easier for your brain to retrieve the memory.

There are also scientists who believe that these spontaneous thoughts can provide insights into our deepest beliefs, preferences, and attitudes compared to deliberate thoughts.

These spontaneous thoughts shouldn’t be seen as nuisances that derail your train of thought. They should be embraced and exploited to understand who you are and how that random idea might help you solve your current problem.

Have you read ?

1. Brainstorming is everybody’s business – A practical guide to realize your streak of brilliance
2. On creative project ideas and bedtime stories – Nurturing creativity and cultivating it
3. The human brain helps us make intelligent decisions

Using Spontaneous Thoughts to Your Advantage

Being able to understand how these random thoughts fit into what you’re currently doing can make you a better problem solver and think more creatively. The ability to think out-of-the-box is highly beneficial for nearly every profession, even if you don’t have a “creative” job. Too often, we get caught up in thinking “that’s just the way we do things,” which hinders our ability to solve problems.

Some people practice Acem meditation to stimulate spontaneous thoughts in the brain. They see it as maintaining their default brain. Others tend to write down their random thoughts in a small journal or personalized notepad to analyze later. They believe these thoughts can be the key to unlocking a critical problem.

You can also use random thoughts to your advantage in social situations. When you have a constant flow of random thoughts, you never run out of things to talk about. Those random thoughts can help make you more memorable to that person, forging new social connections that can improve our mental wellbeing. Not everyone is welcoming to random thoughts however. Be mindful of personalities who may not be open to the random thinker. 

Next time you have a random thought, consider chasing that thought to see where it takes you. If you don’t have the time, write it down. These actions can help you better understand your brain. 

Ethical design is the answer to some of social media’s problems

Ethical design
In the post below, Faye Miller cites common examples of overlooking ethical design concerns in user experience for Facebook and Twitter. Some had minor ethics concerns among the user community and others were not that simple. Further, the author suggests  four categories ranging from contextual to ethical on which user experience design for social media can be based.  Technology should respect human rights and human experience. Her post is below. Image credit: Pixabay

The original article was published in ‘The Conversation’  from Faye Miller, Lecturer / Researcher, University of Canberra.

File 20180117 53299 sn9s0r.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
Many of the challenges faced by social media companies come down to failures of design.

Faye Miller, University of Canberra

Facebook last week announced a redesign of its news feed to prioritise posts from friends and family over those of news publishers.

While struggling news organisations are likely to take a hit on their social traffic, the move suggests that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been paying attention to criticisms around issues such as fake news and adverse mental health outcomes.

In many cases, the biggest shortcomings of these technologies are failures of design.

There is often a disconnect between what digital designers originally intend with a product or feature, and how consumers use or interpret it.

Ethical user experience design – meaning, for example, designing technologies in ways that promote good online behaviour and intuit how they might be used – may help bridge that gap.

Read more:
Explainer: what is experience design?

A case study: the Twitter tick

The furor over Twitter’s blue verification tick is a good example of the disconnect between business intent and user interpretation.

The Twitter community has taken the tick to signify an endorsement of a Twitter user and their tweets, or a VIP status symbol indicating power and recognition.

Meanwhile, the company says the tick is intended to authenticate and protect the voices of high-profile users who are vulnerable to identity theft by imposters.

The confusion has caused outrage among Twitter users who accuse Twitter of endorsing white supremacists who spread hate speech on the platform.

The popular meaning of this function has developed over time within the Twitter community through collective action and opinion, and it speaks louder than formal explanation released by Twitter.

If Twitter’s intention was to mark authenticity, then perhaps it shouldn’t have chosen a tick, which commonly symbolises correctness or approval.

The public continues to urge Twitter to rethink its user verification process. Although the company recently clarified its rules to ban or remove verification from users who post violent and abusive tweets, the verification issue remains unresolved in the eyes of its users.

Tweets deemed in breach of the new rules, but seen by Twitter as “newsworthy” (Trump’s nuclear button tweet, for example) show the continued confusion over enforcement of the rules.

How can ethical user experience design help?

User experience design and research has so far mainly been applied to designing tech that is responsive to user needs and locations. For example, commercial and digital assistants that intuit what you will buy at a local store based on your previous purchases.

However, digital designers and tech companies are beginning to recognise that there is an ethical dimension to their work, and that they have some social responsibility for the well-being of their users.

Meeting this responsibility requires designers to anticipate the meanings people might create around a particular technology.

I have been researching the everyday experiences of users on Twitter with my colleagues at University of Southern Queensland’s Digital Life Lab. Preliminary findings show that users perceive “grey areas” when they are confused about rules, etiquette or whether they are using Twitter correctly.

Read more:
Engineers, philosophers and sociologists release ethical design guidelines for future technology

Elements of design

An ideal user experience would reduce confusion and harm by blending four digital design elements: contextual, emotional, anticipatory and ethical.

Contextually aware design is capable of understanding the different meanings that a particular technology may have, and adapting in a way that is socially and ethically responsible. For example, smart cars that prevent mobile phone use while driving.

Emotional design refers to technology that elicits appropriate emotional responses to create positive user experiences. It takes into account the connections people form with the objects they use, from pleasure and trust to fear and anxiety.

This includes the look and feel of a product, how easy it is to use and how we feel after we have used it.

Anticipatory design allows technology to predict the most useful interaction within a sea of options and make a decision for the user, thus “simplifying” the experience. Some companies may use anticipatory design in unethical ways that trick users into selecting an option that benefits the company.

The ethical design manifesto created by UK start-up Ind.ie describes technology that reduces inequality and benefits democracy, is functional, convenient and reliable, and is delightful to use.

Ethical user experience design is a relatively new and complex area.
Created by ind.ie and remixed by jfontana.fr, CC BY

Devices, websites and social networks designed with these elements in mind work for the benefit of the user. For example, if a teenager is overusing or oversharing on social media, a pop-up notification might prompt the person to exercise or meditate instead.

Read more:
Does Apple have an obligation to make the iPhone safer for kids?

If tech companies don’t respond to these challenges, it could damage their brands and the trust consumers place in their products.

Working within newly developed ethical frameworks, there is a need for human roles within tech companies to monitor and respond to emerging popular meanings around their products.

The ConversationIn this way, ethical user experience design could clarify “grey areas” and prevent harmful consequences on people, organisations and tech-dependent societies.

Faye Miller, Lecturer / Researcher, University of Canberra

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.