We intercepted a note today. It was lying with haphazard innocence on the kitchen table amongst magazines and opened mail that was waiting to be thrown out.
What I read, I assumed was written by one of my husband’s high school students which he intercepted and confiscated. No child of mine would have written about video chatting on Skype with a boy who asked to see her boobs and even though he is a “perv”, she still thinks “he’s hot”. And no friend of any of my children’s would have lol’ed at that situation.
But it was.
When I was growing up, notes were passed, brought home and left as evidence on bedroom floors or in pockets of dirty jeans. Notes that alluded to other notes that were passed by a crush or a phone call with heavy panting and promised touches.
Things are WAY too different now.
The technology age is in full swing and it’s dragging our children along with it. Video chat(Skype), sexting, texting, youtube, facebook, twitter. Which, ironically and humorously, none of those words are recognized by spell check yet.
Our kids are exposed to too much burden that comes along with too much technology. Because, teens want to be and feel accepted. So they do stupid things. No matter how diligent we are, there is so much that our kids are exposed to, the minute we turn our back. With technology, particularly social media, it’s getting harder to protect and somewhat shelter them.
It’s taking its toll.
Violation of privacy.
Broken hearts via Facebook status.
And many more emotional and physical travesties.
Facebook chat roulette and skype , really, are the two of most potentially dangerous social media outlet for our kids. It’s private. If you lift up your shirt and show me your tits, no one will ever know. It’s between the two of us.
Until it’s all over Facebook as a captured screen shot that’s name tagged.
And the shit-storm begins thundering in.
Our situation has happy ending.
We spoke with our daughter about the note and about video chatting. She told us that the minute he asked her to expose herself, she clicked off. She wants nothing to do with that type of behavior. I’m proud of her. She has a good head on her shoulders.
What about the kid that would have exposed herself? Or himself?
How are we supposed to protect those kids from the type of guy my daughter came into contact with? Or worse?
We can’t monitor the things they do, 24 hours a day. They need some privacy and respect. They also need to be able to feel like we trust their behavior, unless given reasons otherwise.
However, we need to be involved enough to know who they are hanging out with, whose parents we can rely on for discreet conversation and, our kids should have a little parental fear.
With technology being open 24 hours a day and the need to get at least 6 hours of sleep is very strong, precarious situations are missed. The potential for major trouble happens when the parent’s lights go out for the night and the monitor in the kids room is awakened.
Aside from limiting internet access…
What’s the answer?
Is there even an answer?
Because, with social media, there doesn’t seem to be any haphazard innocence.