Your Teen Could Be the Next Big Facebook Trollop

Facebook, teensI don’t care if they’ve got a brand new license and can now officially drive the family car without you cowering in the passenger seat.

I don’t care if they loom seven inches over you when you’re standing beside them and they outgrew your shoe size two times over back when they were still in middle school.

And I really don’t care if you consider yourself one of these new-wave, hip, free-thinking parents who trusts their children with choices, freedom, and personal space. Everybody needs to check up on their kids’ Facebook pages and find out what they’re up to online. It’s just part of responsible parenting in the age of social media. 

Darn their privacy. Fool around and your child could be the one flashing his boner in a teeny pair of shorts in front of your bathroom mirror. The possibilities are sadly — and frighteningly — endless.

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A few days ago, I was talking to another mother when she asked if I had any pictures of my daughter. I used to flip through the arsenal of school photos in my wallet when it was time to show off my little offspring. They’re still in there, but my go-to place now is her Facebook page.

So as I was clicking through to get to The Girl’s ever-expanding collection of self-portraits, the lady I was talking to expressed her surprise. “My daughter blocked me from all of her pictures,” she chuckled. I looked at her like she was nuts and thought, ha ha nothing. There’s no way my child would be trolling around the Web unpoliced and willfully keeping me from anything on her page. What’s there to hide?

Too many parents who don’t have access to their child’s account, either as a friend or as an occasional investigator, end up having these kids who have their miscellaneous body parts splashed across cyberspace. They push the envelope because they know they can get away with it. With no adult eyes on their antics to hold them accountable, they run wild all over the site. I’ve seen it happen more than a few times and it ticks me off like it’s a brand new experience whenever I see it happening.

I had to shut Skylar down a few times for having unsavory characters as friends on her account. One girl was sitting in front of the bathroom mirror, panties all hitched up into the crack of her behind, butt splayed and spread across her parents’ countertop. I was heated. “Is this the kind of person you want to be friends with?” I barked. “The people you choose to be cool with in person and online are representative of you.”

I’m not sure she got that part. I think she thought that so long as it wasn’t her doing the dirt, she was in the clear. But I explained to The Girl when I first and finally agreed to let her join the land of social networking, she was to treat it just like she was inviting someone to the house. If she wasn’t willing to bring someone home who stripped down to their skivvies or randomly flashed their body parts, she didn’t have any business being pals with them online either.

I also had to check her for being too fast on The Book her doggone self. Last week, I noticed she uploaded a few new pics when they showed up in my newsfeed. She’s vacationing with her great grandparents in Miami, so I was somewhat surprised to see anything from her, considering Wi-Fi is probably a technological luxury to her right about now. Even more surprising was that this chick had the nerve to take a picture of herself from the side, highlighting that little hump of a backside that’s turning out to be an asset for her and a headache for me.

I commented on the picture, told her how distasteful it was, and inboxed her a message with the subject line “Disappointed.” She got the message — and the point — quick. Needless to say, Facebook has been on temporary cease and desist until she gets back home and I have more time to invest into preventing her from becoming too much like her rump-sharing friend with her drawers all over thousands of computer screens.

How closely do you monitor your teen’s activity on social media and video chat sites?


Image via Jayel Aheram/Flickr

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