I thought Twitter was the place where Donald Trump made stupid comments and celebrities would retort back, not something that had a darker side.
Although I wasn’t much of a Tweeter, I did have an account that I think I created a few years ago. But mostly for me, Twitter was just the blue bird that sat on my phone not tweeting.
Then one day, I decided to have a look in the Twitterverse to see what I was missing out on. Instead of some terse Trump words, I found something much closer to home.
I found my daughter doing Twitter porn.
Before I had found her Twitter account, or should I say that of her ‘sexy alter ego,’ I didn’t know Twitter porn was even a thing. Was I naive? Or just not very savvy with social media? Because explicit videos were not something I thought I would be seeing on Twitter, especially not of my own 19-year-old daughter.
An acquaintance had sent me a link to her account via direct message. It was sent months prior to me seeing it, just sitting innocently in my inbox until what I refer to as ‘P Day,’ when my perception of my daughter changed forever.
Her Twitter handle combined a hint of her name with what I guess you would call a ‘sexy twist.’ It had seemingly been set up solely for adult entertainment and included over 50 ten-second clips of her in varying compromising positions. Some included her, face visible, in lingerie posing on a bed. Others were more explicit and included full nudity and the performance of sexual acts.
Obviously, I was completely shocked and couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Seeing my own daughter this way was confronting. It stripped away my memories of her as an innocent child, the view of her as a ‘good girl’ that I had, up until now, still seen her as.
I was also confused – why was she doing this? Had I done something wrong as a parent in order to make my daughter feel like this was a good choice for her? Was she not the feminist that she claimed to be?
And I was worried – what would this mean for her future?
The internet is an unforgiving place where secrets don’t hide. My daughter is 19, studying at university with huge career aspirations – but she was making choices, I felt, that could prevent her from achieving these things.
For days I ruminated about what I had discovered, whether to tell my husband and what to say to my daughter when she called next. I didn’t know how to approach it, who to ask for advice or what to do.
I still wanted to protect her but at the same time, I wondered how I really could now that she was so vulnerable, so very publicly?
Unsure how to navigate a difficult conversation with your daughter? This episode of Ask Me Anything has the answers. Post continues below.