Why I Protected My Tweets (and why I’m glad I did)

Several months ago now, I made the decision to “protect my tweets” on Twitter. Basically, that means that I set my account to a private mode where only followers I know about can read what I tweet.

 

Why did I do that?

 

Well, I did it because, while I LOVE Twitter (and always have), I was starting to feel twitchy about people I don’t know about being able to read what I write whenever they want.

 

It’s like this–

 

I have a lovely same-age cousin who I adore. (Actually, I have a few of them, because I am BLESSED like that, but stick with me here…) She is a fan of my Parenting Miracles Facebook page. So, for example, if she were to say, “I saw the pic you posted of Black Raspberry Trifles the other day– they looked great!”, that would seem normal to me. But if, let’s just say, one of my OTHER lovely cousins were to say that, I would take pause. Because I know they’re not “FB fans”. So it would make me wonder when they were checking out my page. Not that I would “care”, mind you, but it’s kind of like talking to a group of people all in the room with you and then finding out someone was lurking outside the door listening in.

 

Still, on Facebook, it’s not such a huge deal. It’s a “page”, after all, meant to provide interesting links, photos, and discussion points, never limited to a single person. While I don’t mind saying that I would *love* if all the people looking at my page would just go ahead and LIKE the darn thing already, it’s not stressing me out particularly much.

 

But… Twitter? Twitter is different. It’s still social media, yes, and one has to be prepared for others to be able to see one’s words. But on Twitter, unlike Facebook, I have conversations and dialogues with individuals or small groups. I’m well-aware that my other followers could, if they so desired, read those conversations. And that’s fine. What is NOT fine, in my opinion, is having people who aren’t even ON Twitter nosing around in those discussions. It feels creepy to me– I can’t help it.

 

Now, if I used Twitter for the sole purpose of sharing my own links and retweeting a few others? I likely wouldn’t care. But I’m not willing to give up the chitter chatter. I like it. And I don’t like not having any clue WHO might be “listening in.” I’m not fooling myself here– I realize there’s no privacy on Twitter. But, at the very least, I can be aware of WHICH 1,000+ people are reading my words… and I know they all also use Twitter.

 

Am I glad I did it?

 

Heck yes. I fretted for a couple days that I would “lose followers.” And I did– about 10 of them. You know what? I didn’t know those people/companies/bots from Adam. I haven’t missed them one bit. And I’ve more than made up for those losses in the time following.

 

I adore my followers and those I follow on Twitter. I love adding new friends and colleagues to the mix, too! That’s why I state, plain as day, on my profile: “followers approved.”

 

I don’t view Twitter as some private little club for me and a few of my closest girlfriends– not at all! But I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to KNOW someone is reading my words before letting them have full access to all my conversations.

 

What this really means is that I have two simple rules for reading my tweets:

1) You need to be on Twitter, too.

2) I’d like to know about you.

 

I have been less stressed and twitchy ever since protecting my tweets. I know some “social media experts” advise against it, but, for me? It was the right choice.

 

Are you on Twitter? Do you protect your tweets? And do you follow me yet?– because I would, truly, LOVE to connect with you there, too! :)

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6 comments to Why I Protected My Tweets (and why I’m glad I did)

  • Yes I did this a few years ago when I saw my father following me. Now it is because of the same reasons you listed and because as a NICU nurse I like having some control over who sees them. And yes I follow you and enjoy your tweets.

    • I can totally understand wanting control over who sees your tweets in the career you’re in– I always feel that way about teachers, too. I can’t imagine teaching kids and NOT having strict privacy settings! (I enjoy you, too! :))

  • Kathy

    I would love to follow you on Facebook and such, but my IT (thatis his career) husband has forbid ANY social media in our home. Since I am in the minority and listen to my husband(I have had people suggest I just get an account without telling him) I will just follow blogs. So I totally understand you wanting some control. I think that privacy is something we don’t respect any more.

    • My husband HATES social media– for himself. He doesn’t mind it for me, and he is completely aware of both my FB and Twitter accounts. I cannot imagine trying to keep something like that from him, to be honest. For us, it has worked out since I end up being the one who is “friends” with a couple of his college friends, thus enabling them to keep in touch. (Not sure if that makes sense, but it’s working for us. ;))

    • Celine

      It is refreshing to hear another woman say that she respects her husbands choices, even when it might not be what she wants or is culturally popular.

      We definitely don’t respect privacy like we should.

  • Celine

    I totally have my accounts locked down. I like knowing who is seeing what I post.

    Obviously there are some places (blog, cafemom, message boards etc.) where you know you have no control over who sees what but at least you can use a bit more caution about what you post.

    I could do without twitter and Facebook.
    Our church uses them to get messages out, share needs or prayer requests, and connect with others who volunteer on the same team (worship, children’s ministry, guest services etc) . This can come in handy.

    Some of my friends also use Facebook for the group and event features. We can share blog posts/articles, post prayer requests, share bible study soaps, get help and advice on situations, plan playdate or mom get togethers.

    Most everyone on my Facebook friends list is from church or a group I belong to. A good portion of them are set to restricted so they only really see things that I purposely post public.

    Twitter is mostly church people and a few blog friends. I use this far less then I do Facebook.

    I even have instagram set to private.

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