Are You a Facebook Spy?
When I became a mother, I promised myself that I would never read my children’s diaries unless I had real cause for concern over their health or well-being. My children should get their own privacy.
Is Facebook a diary? Is following your child’s chatter the same as reading their diary? Are you spying by going through their Facebook?
One late night of no sleep, I decided to download pictures of my kids. I went to each child’s Facebook page to look through photo albums. And there was the picture – my daughter embracing an unknown boy. Several times.
So began the midnight spy adventure. From the album, I went to her wall. I followed the conversation between her and her friends. Then I searched Facebook for the tagged names in the photo. And so on and so on… I found all sorts of details about my daughter and her friends. None of this information was difficult to acquire. After all, my daughter did not consider this information private.
But I felt terrible. While the information is there for all to see, I knew she did not consider me, her mother, to be part of the “all.” I knew that I was not welcome there, and that she would be disgusted to think that I cared enough about her social life to go through these machinations. Facebook was to share her life with her friends, not her parents.
If this information is out for the world to see, why does it still feel like I’m spying on my daughter? If she’s not sharing this info with me, what is a caring and curious mom of a tight-lipped teen to do?