Teenagers are a peculiar bunch. But when can you believe them? I’ve had to deal with two teenage daughters in my life. Even though you tell them everything you can in hopes to make them unique, outgoing and safe, even using content intended to scare them from doing wrong…. It’s like it goes in one ear, then processes into an audible answer that you want to hear, then when the opportunity presents itself, they do the exact opposite. It’s almost as if they never heard your warnings. Yet were capable of telling you that they did.
My case-in-point being my youngest. Who for lack of better terminology, simply stabbed daggers right through my heart over a brand new “smart” phone her sister bought her. Nearly the exact same thing her older sister did to me a few years ago.
I thought I had taught them to avoid internet predators. How, not to do everything their friends did as it would likely end badly. How to keep personal information sacred when using the world wide web so they can avoid identity theft and stalkers. How social networking sites are not good for young children to use.
And they agreed with me, or so they told me they did. Then I found the older one maintained a MySpace from anywhere she could because we blocked it at home. Even though I gave her a hard worked, home made website she could do all the same things on but I could ensure the security of her data. That didn’t matter, because her friends did it, she had to do it too.
This weekend, the youngest followed in her older sisters footsteps almost exactly. I warned her of the dangers of the internet and skillfully crafted her a very nice website that she even stood over me and helped me design. We talked at great length about how MySpace and Facebook were just sink-holes of societal lemmings all trying to “be cool“. That her personal information can be taken even if she locks it down.
It was all lies. Why would I ever even think I’ve gotten through to a teenager.
So her sister got her a phone, and it has Facebook and all that on it. Immediately, “Mom? Can I have a Facebook?”.
I was speechless. Hurt to say the least. Why do I bother? She never appreciated it. She can do everything on her website that she can do on Facebook. Without the worry of identity theft or that mess. Post and share pictures. Put all of her wonderful writings on it (oddly she never has and she’s a damn good writer). Write her heart out if she likes. But oh no, she’s gotta do it on Facebook because that’s what everyone else does. Why bother being unique when you can be another lemming?
I guess it’s millions of people really. They all do it. They did it on Geocities back in the 90’s, MySpace 5 years ago and Facebook now. Nothing like being apart of a fad rather than being your own person with your own look and style.
I’ll still fight the masses. I refuse to be dominated by some corporate child or any of his future successors. Facebook won’t last forever. The internet most likely will remain long after they are dead and gone.