Home > technology > How Can It Be Spying If You Tell Them You’re Watching?

How Can It Be Spying If You Tell Them You’re Watching?

Monday, July 18, 2011, 15:19 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Facebook logoIn an illuminating example of how far it has fallen, Time magazine has a ridiculous article about how parents are using Facebook to “spy” on their children:

The fears of a generation have been confirmed, as a new survey reveals that more than 50% of parents use social media as a way of spying on their children—and that even more would do so if they knew how.

[ . . . ]

Furthermore, 11% of those polled admit they created a Facebook profile purely to track their children, with 13% saying that they have logged onto friends’ accounts to check up on their children, some doing so after attempting to friend their offspring and being rejected—15% of those polled have tried to friend their kids on Facebook, with 4% of them getting rejected.

The entire article reeks of cluelessness, like someone who is shocked—SHOCKED! I tell you—to learn that the hot coffee they just bought at the fast food drive-up window is, you know, hot. “The fears of a generation”? Isn’t that a bit melodramatic? Are the editors at Time so technologically inept that they think kids who “friend” their parents on Facebook don’t know their parents can see what they post? That’s the whole point of Facebook: to post things for your “friends” to see.

Considering that kids as young as 13 can join Facebook (younger, if they lie about their birth years), it’s hardly surprising that parents want to see what they’re up to. Concern about online pedophiles is reason enough, but parents also want to make sure their kids are behaving. Duh. Parents also want to know what their kids are doing up in their room, or where they’re going after school. Because, you know, they’re parents. It’s kind of their job.

As a parent myself, I find it not only perfectly reasonable but also quite responsible for parents to “friend” their underage children. Most parents I know do, including those who don’t use social networking for any other purpose. If my son had been a minor when Facebook came out, I would have, too. Teenagers might not like it, but they take it for granted, just like they take for granted their curfews or the fact that they aren’t supposed to go swimming in the neighbor’s pool without an adult around. They certainly aren’t shocked by it, because they aren’t stupid. The same can’t be said about the people at Time.

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