Just when I thought I had it all under control, along came Keek.
I thought I had been doing a pretty good job of staying on top of all the social media outlets my children use. There used to be Myspace. Then Facebook. And Twitter. Then a brief Tumblr period. And Pinterest (which I think most teens quickly decided they could live without!) Then Voxer. And Instagram. As a self-professed nosey mother (often accused of being over-controlling by my now 17-year old), I have always had the policy of “If you’re gonna use it, you’re gonna agree that I am the keeper of the passwords, passwords that I will use in the event that you’re momentarily deranged, thus posting inappropriate things that may come back to haunt you.” Such a policy has worked well for my family for the past seven years or so. I’ve never had to assert my password power to change/delete potentially damaging things, thank Heavens, but I would have and still will, if necessary. (I’m definitely not one of those “I respect my kids’ privacy” type of parents. Sorry, world, I know it’s not politically correct. But I will spy on my kids. I will stalk them online. I will use every outlet available to gather information about their friends. Besides, I’m 39 years old and I still don’t have privacy from my mother! She’s as “up in my business” today as she was in 1991! And I wouldn’t want it any other way.)
And now along comes Keek – video sharing with friends. WONDERFUL, I say sarcastically. So glad to see that there’s ONE more site to learn, ONE more site to monitor, ONE more site to see kids acting crazy on.
My Granny used to always say, “If your teenager doesn’t hate you at least once a week, you’re doing something wrong.” Well, I think I’ve got that one under control, because I’m sure mine meets that weekly quota! I am most definitely not my children’s friend. YET. I hope to be one day, but not now, not when they need parents, not when social media has created so many pitfalls on their pathway to a successful future. Not when so many teenage girls are using their bathroom mirrors as camera lenses for their string bikini poses in hopes of getting triple-digit likes. Not when so many teenage boys are proudly posting the number of kegs that will be at Friday night’s get-together. Not when so many teenage girls are bragging about their sexual conquests right on the Twitter newsfeed, so similar to what teenage boys once did in locker rooms years ago.
No, for now anyway, I won’t try to be their friend. Instead, I’ll learn how to use Twitter and Voxer and Instagram and Keek and whatever else comes down the social media pathway, all the while thinking “what comes around goes around” and wondering what kind of crazy sites they’ll be learning when they have teenagers. (Okay, let’s be real. I’m going to be one very nosey grandma in the FAR distant future, so I suppose I should switch the “they’ll” to “we’ll” in the preceding sentence!)
Often, in our permissive society, we parents are too engrossed in our own lives to truly pay attention to what’s going on in our children’s. We all are susceptible to this. It’s often much easier to say “Yeah, go ahead” than to go through the lengthy arguments that inevitably proceed a “no.” Be that as it may, however, the Bible is clear that we parents are responsible for helping our children become good decision makers. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus instructs, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18: 3-6)
Like it or not, we parents ultimately have a lot of responsibility in guiding our children’s choices. I sure don’t want that millstone around my neck!