Cheating with Twitter

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Today I am changing the name of this blog to Umbrella of Grace, because today I need you to lend me that umbrella and have it cover this post.
First off you have to understand that I am not married, and for that matter am very single (dangit) and so I do not claim to have any of this figured out. You will see why this is important in a minute. Mainly I just like to ask questions, prime the pump a little bit, and then stoke the fire.

Let me muse with you a little bit here…Twitter is powerful, there are some really cool people that I have met, that you have met, and that we will continue to meet. I mean pretty much everyone that is reading this now has come to find out about this blog through twitter. You literally can have friends in every state and even out of the country.

There are some downsides of twitter. One of the biggest is spam. Porn spam, Phishing spams, and even tuna spam (that stuff is nasty tasting) have all hit us at one time or another through DM’s and followers. This is an obvious flaw of twitter, but there is also another thing that I find interesting/concerning about twitter: Inappropriate Relationships.

This is not coming from personal experience, more through observation. I can see twitter being used as a new tool of relationships that move to far. Maybe it is through DM’s or how others are perceiving these relationships on twitter. This seems to be a big gray area and I have not heard a lot of people talk about it. You do hear the discussion about the dangers of inappropriate emails or even facebook messages, but twitter seems to fly under the radar (pun intended).

For me I do not think twice about who I am talking with. But the more I started to think about this the more I realized that if I was married would my wife have a problem with me caring on a conversation through DM’s or through @ replies with a lady, and for that matter a lady that she does not know. I let the situation run even further and thought about how easy it would be for me to hide this. Knowing that I have my own account and have my own little world on twitter things could get out of control pretty quickly, and yet everything started out so innocent.

Couple of things that I would like to hear from you on:

Have you noticed this as an issue?

Is this a big deal?

What is the line of appropriate Twitter Relations?

*kyle

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Kyle Reed

Posts Twitter

Kyle Reed is a connector looking to connect with others. A 20 Something that is blogging his way through life and looking to connect through community. Also a team member of the 8BIT Network and brand evangelist. Find me on twitter: @kylelreed, lets chat.
  • jaycaruso

    It depends on the conversation really. I've had conversations with women on Twitter with @replies and it's not a big deal because my wife can see the stream. If she sensed anything inappropriate, I'm sure she'd let me know.

    DM's are different story because those are more private, but again it depends on the subject matter. I had a DM conversation with a woman about portrait photography as she was giving me some tips on pricing.

    It's really all about boundaries when it comes to online communication. Our Pastor would not meet with alone with a woman in his office other than his wife. It's not that anything would happen, but it's merely the opportunity to give off the impression that something's happening that could cause issues. Would it be inappropriate for the Pastor to respond to an email from a woman? In that case, it depends on the subject matter. It's easy to see that line that shouldn't be crossed. It's up to us to determine whether or not we're going to cross or turn away.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      Good point jay, I think you are right, the circumstance determines the response and conversation.
      I do wonder though the perception that it can give.
      Lets say I have a friend that always is @ replying with a girl on twitter. I know that he is married and she is not. It is always him talking to her and it is constant.
      I think there could be some inappropriateness going on there, and the guy might not even know it.

    • http://manofdepravity.com Tyler Braun

      I agree that it depends on the conversation. I would also say it depends on how often that type of conversation is happening and where your heart is at during it.

      Good subject to bring up Kyle.

  • http://twitter.com/benjizimmerman Benji Zimmerman

    I agree with Jay that you can have @reply conversation with women, but if you are going to do that make sure your twitter stream is “public” and not “private”. My wife has a twitter account and never uses it, but she does check in from time to time on my stream and ask me who people are. She trusts me to say and do the right thing, but you have hit on a tough subject because you are correct that innocence can lead to a big mess in the end.

    How do you take the open door policy and transfer it to twitter/email/etc? Better yet, how do you take the “no women in the pastors office unless the admin assistant is present” policy and transfer that to twitter/facebook/email?

    If you find an answer please share. :)

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      That is it right there, how do you do that. I think that is why it can become a problem because the issue is so gray.

      Maybe you are a minister and you are trying to help someone out, that could quickly turn into a bad situation. I think the same can be said about twitter, you are in discussion and it turns from a discussion into a place you do not want to be.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

    That is it right there, how do you do that. I think that is why it can become a problem because the issue is so gray.

    Maybe you are a minister and you are trying to help someone out, that could quickly turn into a bad situation. I think the same can be said about twitter, you are in discussion and it turns from a discussion into a place you do not want to be.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

    That is it right there, how do you do that. I think that is why it can become a problem because the issue is so gray.

    Maybe you are a minister and you are trying to help someone out, that could quickly turn into a bad situation. I think the same can be said about twitter, you are in discussion and it turns from a discussion into a place you do not want to be.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

    That is it right there, how do you do that. I think that is why it can become a problem because the issue is so gray.

    Maybe you are a minister and you are trying to help someone out, that could quickly turn into a bad situation. I think the same can be said about twitter, you are in discussion and it turns from a discussion into a place you do not want to be.

  • brendonfoulke

    I have not seen any of the convo's, but i can back you up on the porn spam and other spams. I recently got a dm from a friend, but i knew it wasnt a friend because it was, lets say a very provocative message. I had to let my friend know that his twitter was being hacked into. He apologized, but i find it very difficult to think that there is no way of preventing that kind of stuff from happening. The hard part is getting those random people that want to follow you that have profile pictures of girls that look like they are 12. Its just very annoying and unnecessary.
    If you are having an inappropriate relationship through twitter, a) you need to stop. b) i dont know what you can do about it. DMs are hard because it does allow you to send private messages to people that you dont want anyone else seeing. Something about that is settling as well as troubling. I have gotten DMs that are very useful and exciting, but I have also gotten DMs that just should not have happened.
    I dont know what Twitter would do about this, but it is definitely something they need to consider looking at and upgrading.

    Good thoughts my friend.

  • brendonfoulke

    I have not seen any of the convo's, but i can back you up on the porn spam and other spams. I recently got a dm from a friend, but i knew it wasnt a friend because it was, lets say a very provocative message. I had to let my friend know that his twitter was being hacked into. He apologized, but i find it very difficult to think that there is no way of preventing that kind of stuff from happening. The hard part is getting those random people that want to follow you that have profile pictures of girls that look like they are 12. Its just very annoying and unnecessary.
    If you are having an inappropriate relationship through twitter, a) you need to stop. b) i dont know what you can do about it. DMs are hard because it does allow you to send private messages to people that you dont want anyone else seeing. Something about that is settling as well as troubling. I have gotten DMs that are very useful and exciting, but I have also gotten DMs that just should not have happened.
    I dont know what Twitter would do about this, but it is definitely something they need to consider looking at and upgrading.

    Good thoughts my friend.

  • brendonfoulke

    I have not seen any of the convo's, but i can back you up on the porn spam and other spams. I recently got a dm from a friend, but i knew it wasnt a friend because it was, lets say a very provocative message. I had to let my friend know that his twitter was being hacked into. He apologized, but i find it very difficult to think that there is no way of preventing that kind of stuff from happening. The hard part is getting those random people that want to follow you that have profile pictures of girls that look like they are 12. Its just very annoying and unnecessary.
    If you are having an inappropriate relationship through twitter, a) you need to stop. b) i dont know what you can do about it. DMs are hard because it does allow you to send private messages to people that you dont want anyone else seeing. Something about that is settling as well as troubling. I have gotten DMs that are very useful and exciting, but I have also gotten DMs that just should not have happened.
    I dont know what Twitter would do about this, but it is definitely something they need to consider looking at and upgrading.

    Good thoughts my friend.

  • brendonfoulke

    I have not seen any of the convo's, but i can back you up on the porn spam and other spams. I recently got a dm from a friend, but i knew it wasnt a friend because it was, lets say a very provocative message. I had to let my friend know that his twitter was being hacked into. He apologized, but i find it very difficult to think that there is no way of preventing that kind of stuff from happening. The hard part is getting those random people that want to follow you that have profile pictures of girls that look like they are 12. Its just very annoying and unnecessary.
    If you are having an inappropriate relationship through twitter, a) you need to stop. b) i dont know what you can do about it. DMs are hard because it does allow you to send private messages to people that you dont want anyone else seeing. Something about that is settling as well as troubling. I have gotten DMs that are very useful and exciting, but I have also gotten DMs that just should not have happened.
    I dont know what Twitter would do about this, but it is definitely something they need to consider looking at and upgrading.

    Good thoughts my friend.

  • http://twitter.com/Zacinator Zac Cross

    I think your @replies are more open and public and therefore innocent. I think DMs can be innocent as well, and even facebook messages vs facebook wall posts are along those same lines. However, something like Tiger Text or whatever that is, nothing good can come from that. Even facebook chat can go both directions. It comes down to trust. If your marriage/relationship has no trust, then there could be concern for who you or your spouse is communicating with. However, if you are honest with each other, there is no reason for alarm for @replying to someone or starting up conversations. I think it is far more innocent than meeting at a restaurant with a random opposite sex twitter friend for tea/coffee. That takes things to a whole new level.

  • http://twitter.com/Zacinator Zac Cross

    I think your @replies are more open and public and therefore innocent. I think DMs can be innocent as well, and even facebook messages vs facebook wall posts are along those same lines. However, something like Tiger Text or whatever that is, nothing good can come from that. Even facebook chat can go both directions. It comes down to trust. If your marriage/relationship has no trust, then there could be concern for who you or your spouse is communicating with. However, if you are honest with each other, there is no reason for alarm for @replying to someone or starting up conversations. I think it is far more innocent than meeting at a restaurant with a random opposite sex twitter friend for tea/coffee. That takes things to a whole new level.

  • http://twitter.com/Zacinator Zac Cross

    I think your @replies are more open and public and therefore innocent. I think DMs can be innocent as well, and even facebook messages vs facebook wall posts are along those same lines. However, something like Tiger Text or whatever that is, nothing good can come from that. Even facebook chat can go both directions. It comes down to trust. If your marriage/relationship has no trust, then there could be concern for who you or your spouse is communicating with. However, if you are honest with each other, there is no reason for alarm for @replying to someone or starting up conversations. I think it is far more innocent than meeting at a restaurant with a random opposite sex twitter friend for tea/coffee. That takes things to a whole new level.

  • http://twitter.com/Zacinator Zac Cross

    I think your @replies are more open and public and therefore innocent. I think DMs can be innocent as well, and even facebook messages vs facebook wall posts are along those same lines. However, something like Tiger Text or whatever that is, nothing good can come from that. Even facebook chat can go both directions. It comes down to trust. If your marriage/relationship has no trust, then there could be concern for who you or your spouse is communicating with. However, if you are honest with each other, there is no reason for alarm for @replying to someone or starting up conversations. I think it is far more innocent than meeting at a restaurant with a random opposite sex twitter friend for tea/coffee. That takes things to a whole new level.

  • http://morethanuseless.com/ Tom

    Whether or not I've personally (or anyone else has) noticed anything doesn't seem to matter – as a general rule, some people are going to corrupt anything they get their hands on.

    I'd say this conversation could be bumped back a few years ago to texting – now we have sexting. Before that, it was the phone after which came phone sex.

    Meghan and I have our own Facebook accounts, Twitter accounts, and all that jazz. I don't really think about who she's talking to or what she's doing on her computer nor does she for me. It doesn't cross my mind. Obviously, that's trust. That's how it should be.

    The appropriate relations are kind of a case-by-case basis, but I personally tend to err on the side of what some others have mentioned here – it depends on context. That said, I'm skeptical as to why any married dude would need to be DM'ing another woman consistently (or texting, or whatever else).

    I know my thoughts are kinda scattered but I'm short on time, but wanted to voice in a little bit.

  • http://twitter.com/baylormum Shellie Kubicki

    First of all, why are all the comments so far from men? What's up with that!

    Funny, I have wondered the same thing, to an extent. Twitter has opened up a world of “friends” I don't know how I survived without! Seriously. When I sent out a prayer request last night, the response was overwhelming. Seriously. Same with my daughter's set of tweeps. I stand amazed. And humbled.

    There are always people who are going to ruin the experience, but I choose to not let them invade my space by protecting my tweets. There is an unfortunate side of the public timeline that if I'm not followed back people won't see my tweet. Most of those are the CCM artists I follow. I'm ok with that. I rarely DM anyone. Had to last night. Used it for prayer requests until I could talk with my daughter first. Didn't want her finding out that way. Then she shot out a prayer request before me. My husband thinks we're both off our rockers! And I was tweeting 6 months ahead of her. She thought I was off my rocker!

    I really think being selective about who I follow & who I let follow me back is key for me.

    P.S. Still not in love with your banner. I do like the pic. It is cool. And you are a pretty smart 23 year old. You so remind me of my daughter. Her spirit and compassion. Her wonderment at what life has to offer.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      Well that is nice to know that you think I am smart, one of two aint bad (in regards to the banner)
      You said your daughter is 23 right, seems like us 23 year old yungens got something going for us.

      And I do not know what is up with you being the only women to comment on this. Lets change that.

  • http://www.contentunderpressure.net/ Josh

    Great topic to bring up, I believe. I've not personally had any issues on Twitter, other than the occasional “check out my new pics” followers that I immediately block. I've never had any DM issues. Perhaps my lack of Twitter popularity has something to do with that… :)

    For me, Facebook provides issues. I work at a treatment center where patient confidentiality is highly regarded. I get requests, chats, private messages all the time from former patients. I love to hear about how they're doing, but due to our privacy policy I cannot respond. I accept their friend requests in order that they know I haven't forgotten about them, but it does make for some tedious privacy settings work on FB.

    But yes, I think the potential is huge for inappropriate relationships. Imagine the amount of married couples where only one person has an online presence, with the spouse not having anything to do with Facebook, Twitter, etc. I think it creates a new curtain to hide behind, just like chat rooms of old.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      That is the exact thing I am talking about, the one spouse having a presence online and the other has no clue what online presence even means.

      I had this issue when I was a teacher at a high school. Within the first week of me working there I got over 100 facebook request and it just continued. I accepted the request but then had to go back and defriend everyone because it could be taken as wrong and I was told to by some fellow teachers and friends. It can be dangerous.

  • http://twitter.com/jackalopekid Adam Smith

    I like this topic. I would rather keep things in the open personally, but I know lots wouldn't care. I think about if my wife found out, would she care. It definitely depends on conversation and the person. If I was DMing an ex girlfriend, probably not so cool

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      You are the twitter master as well. You have a lot of interaction over twitter. I think you would be the best to answer this question.

      And I can imagine no wife would like an ex girlfriend DMing with you.

  • AdrianaFeliz

    Some more feminine insight:
    I've been thinking a lot about this topic. I don't have a twitter account but I get where you're coming from. Boundaries are a problem in the blogosphere as well. It all depends in what you are talking about and to what extent it is appropriate (It's easy to get carried away online). The same problem could apply to almost anything (online or not). Still you can't act as if you WERE married… because you aren't and that in itself carries a bit more freedom. Just set a limit that applies to you personally as a single man (who wants to marry) and then go by it.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      Thanks for classing this blog up, good to have another female opinion. Great words, and you should be on twitter.

  • http://www.rhettsmith.com/ Rhett Smith

    Kyle,

    I knew you had written about this…glad you mentioned it again cause I forgot to read it in the midst of my crazy sickness last few weeks.

    I totally agree with this post. And though you aren't married, I'm glad you are thinking about this issue now, because most singles don't even think about this. And when they don't, that tends to cause problems in marriage, especially early on when both partners are getting used to living together, new boundaries, etc, etc.

    It's very easy to get engaged in some conversations with people that can be both appropriate and inappropriate. And what may not seem like an inappropriate convo can eventually be led down the wrong path as the convo engagement continues.

    That's why I'm a big proponent of transparency on these issues with one's partner. It's hard to do, but gets easier with practice. My wife and I have been having those convos for a while and they are getting easier to have. Really helping us grow together as well.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      Thanks for the encouragement Rhett.
      Transparency seems to be the key.
      I wonder though, in this issue when your spouse does not have a twitter account how transparent do you be and how do you be transparent with that?

  • http://www.rhettsmith.com/ Rhett Smith

    Kyle,

    I knew you had written about this…glad you mentioned it again cause I forgot to read it in the midst of my crazy sickness last few weeks.

    I totally agree with this post. And though you aren't married, I'm glad you are thinking about this issue now, because most singles don't even think about this. And when they don't, that tends to cause problems in marriage, especially early on when both partners are getting used to living together, new boundaries, etc, etc.

    It's very easy to get engaged in some conversations with people that can be both appropriate and inappropriate. And what may not seem like an inappropriate convo can eventually be led down the wrong path as the convo engagement continues.

    That's why I'm a big proponent of transparency on these issues with one's partner. It's hard to do, but gets easier with practice. My wife and I have been having those convos for a while and they are getting easier to have. Really helping us grow together as well.