I was at a high school the other day talking to students about Abstinence and Social Media is always a topic. I told them the story of a time in High School when a girl named Heather wanted me to call her one night. Of course, I did. Her dad answered the phone and I asked for Heather, he told me she died and promptly hung up. The next day she asked me why I didn’t call her, I said I had and that her dad had told me she was dead, so that was that. The students laughed and said that’s funny. I agreed. That led me to the point of, today’s teens have unprecedented access to each other. There is no middle man, no gatekeeper, no dad telling a teen their daughter is unavailable, no nothing. Teens Facetime each other in the bed, in their rooms, while in the bathroom, driving down the street, and at all times. Teens simply have no private boundaries. I mean as a teenage boy that kind of access is just an invitation to a private world. Cell phones give access to areas of teenagers’ lives that is unprecedented and what I believe is unhealthy. So, teens and parents, let me give you 3 things to help keep yourself or your teen safe and healthy.
- Access Denied.
Parents, did you know that the world we grew up in no longer exists? Our teens are in a whole new world. A world where access is easy and unfiltered? When we were growing up, there was no access to a girl’s room. If you were lucky enough to go to a girl’s house, you’d never make it to her bedroom. You would be stuck with her parents watching Wheel of Fortune, true story, or be outside on the porch. Now, our teens have Facetime and that gives unfiltered access to private areas of their lives. Talking to teens, they Facetime everywhere, driving, in bed, showering, getting ready, and as one girl said, even going to the bathroom. So as a parent, you have to limit that. Facetime or video chat should be in public areas of your home. No bedrooms, bathrooms, or private areas. No Facetime when driving shouldn’t have to be said but, no Facetime while driving. Set limits on time also. Your teens will Facetime all night long until one passes out! We know your teens need a lot of rest.
2. Eliminate Creepers
Peeping Toms are nothing new. However, in today’s age, they are not as prevalent as they used to be. Why? Well, porn is easier accessed, and if there is a girl they are interested in, there will be photos and videos. So instead of a creeper fogging up the window outside a girl’s bedroom, they fog up the window to their world, social media accounts. I ask the teenage girls what they would do if they were in their room changing and saw a creeper out their window, and the answer is always the same, scream and run. Yet, they post videos and pictures in provocative outfits on social media and do not think anyone will creep them. Hahahahahahahaahh. “Well, my accounts are private” Hahahahahahahahahahahahah. There are so many workarounds for private accounts, and this point always makes the girls get stunned into silence, you have no clue which of your friends is a creeper either.
So parents, eliminate pictures of your daughters in their undies, provocative outfits, and swimsuits. Do I like that? No. Is our world dangerous? Yes. Are our daughter’s huge targets for sexual traffickers? Yes. I am only talking about your under 18-year-old daughters. After high school, they should know how it is and act accordingly.
3. Access Granted
Parents, your child will have multiple accounts on social media. I am not talking about one account on Instagram, one on Snapchat, and so on. Nope, they will have multiple accounts on each platform. Sometimes they are referred to as “spam” accounts by the youth. Here is a practical tip, have access to all of your children’s social media accounts. You should have total access to their phones at all times. If they fight you on that, and they will, you are the parent. You pay for the phone, you have access to the phone. Pretty simple concept. If they pay for their own phone, you are still their parent and you have access to their phone. If they fight you about access to their phone, they have something to hide. That is a fact. So have access to all your kid’s electronic devices.
These are just a few practical tips for you as parents. It all is about open communication. So talk to your kids about staying safe and having their own private refuge that the outside world does not have access to. They need a place to decompress.