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Saturday, August 29, 2015

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Opinion Blog

Parents need to understand social media

By Samantha Radecki          Posted: 02/14/12 5:24pm         

Thanks to all the advances in Internet and mobile communication, parenting in the 21st century has become a little more complicated in terms of keeping an eye on the kids. But when a North Carolina man caught his 15-year-old daughter acting out online, he fought fire with fire.

As of Monday night, information technology worker Tommy Jordan recorded more than 22 million hits on a video he posted on YouTube and on his daughter’s Facebook wall of him scolding her and shooting her laptop after finding an angry Facebook post she wrote about her parents and her chores.

That’s right: he shot her laptop — nine times — with his .45.

At first this punishment might come off a bit cruel, but when the man goes on to read his daughter Hannah’s post, filled with disrespectful references and curse words, it’s hard not to take his side.

In Monday’s Opinion podcast, The State News Opinion desk discussed why American kids have been acting out and being “brats.” No one is saying this is all the kid’s fault — they usually have learned it from their parents — but it seems parents today let their kids walk all over them. And that is the shocking part about Jordan’s video — he is demanding the respect he deserves as a parent.

Because of technology, parents have lost the ability to easily monitor their kids. Fifteen years ago, when a home telephone was the only way to keep in contact, it was easy for parents to monitor their kid’s activities. They were able to be aware of what their child was doing, who they were talking to and what kinds of information was getting out to the public, at no extra stress.

Today, websites like Facebook and Twitter act as public forums for teenagers, providing a way for them to display their personal lives to the public community. The forum is accessible enough that kids can get carried away with it. It turns sour when most kids don’t know where to draw the line — posting inappropriate messages or pictures — which are not things the entire community needs or should be able to see.

I repeatedly see people post statuses with swear words — usually directed toward someone — which isn’t the ideal face to put out to the world. Because of this, kids can get in trouble for displaying content without having any cruel intent.

I also see teens post their breakups for the whole world to see, knowing it goes out to the world but not really grasping the fact that everyone they know is looking at it, especially people they wouldn’t want to see it. Teens can be cruel behind a computer screen and mock the relationship, which can be hurtful.

Thus, an obstacle has been created for parents. The old fashioned, anti-technology people who would have explored the Internet as a last priority are being forced to suck it up. Parents today have to be up to date on using social media websites, cell phones, email and everything else in order to keep track of their kids like they used to.

This is why I sympathize with Jordan, he understands the technology and how it can corrupt households. I feel as if sometimes drastic measures need to be taken in order to make an impact, and Jordan’s video was dramatic. His daughter will probably think twice the next time she goes to post something personal and/or negative on her Facebook wall.

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