Flickr photo by basykesTracking your kids on Facebook may be the mark of a good parent, but could it land you in jail?
That's what's happened to Denise New, a mom in Arkansas -- her 16-year-old son has had New charged with harassment. This all comes because she went into his Facebook page and allegedly posted slanderous statements on his page.
New admitted to channel KATV that she was pawing through her kids' Facebook page -- but she says that's her job as a parent.
And when she notes his Facebook page featured him stating he drove 95 mph one night because he was upset about a girl, she certainly sounds justified.
But then there's this little fact: the boy doesn't live with his mother. His guardian is actually his grandmother -- who, it would stand to reason, would be the adult responsible for checking up on his Facebook status.
The whole issue makes me pray Facebook will be long gone by the time my daughter is old enough to get online. It is our responsibility to keep track of what our kids are doing, but like the old-fashioned diary hidden under the mattress before it, there is a line that's crossed once you check out a Facebook page your kids have tried to keep private.
Several parents I know are indignant that their kids won't friend them on Facebook. Others are more pragmatic -- they don't want to have to censor their own thoughts on Facebook, and in that vein they can understand their kids wanting their own space.
When Adam and Kristina snuck into their daughter's Facebook page on Parenthood a few weeks back, I was torn.
Requiring kids share their password -- just in case. Checking up on them frequently while they're online. Asking to be their friend and seeing what they say. Those are all cool ways of balancing parenting and allowing them their independence.
But a parent sneaking into a child's Facebook page, then posting as that child, sounds like it may have crossed a line.
Would you do it?
Something my kids handmade
A fun holiday at home with my family
Some time off!
Something just for me, like a plush robe