In the restaurant, there are a mother and her teenage daughter sitting next to the table. The girl is focusing on her phone all the time. Her mother is mad about that and she is going to take away her phone. However, the girl claims that she is discussing Social Studies homework with classmates. Should her mom believe her? Nowadays, owning a smartphone is not surprise anymore. Teens, adults, children and even your grandparents have smartphones. On a smartphone, there are Google, dictionary, camera, calendar, notes also the applications of social media. It is really convenient to people’s life. Many people including teens couldn’t live without their social media. Parents should not over-controlled their kids’ phones because parents should trust and respect what their kids’ are doing and make them feel comfortable. Critics may claim that there are many dangers on the internet and so they should monitor their social media to avoid the sorrows and protect them; however, this is not a valid argument because teens should be responsible for what they have done and know what is good or bad for themselves.
Parents shouldn’t check their kids’ privacy because trust and independence are important to the relationship of parents and teens. Kids won’t check their parents’ private information secretly and so why should parents do that to their kids. In this quote, Dan, father of three teenagers, states he has never viewed the private messages of his kids even if he knew how to check because he respects and trusts his teens. However, “trust is a two-way street”, his kids believe their father and he trusts his kids as well. As a result, parents should trust and give some private spaces to their teens to socialize instead of trying to enter their worlds and let them follow the steps that parents plan for. For this reason, don’t spy or check kids’, especially teens, social media or private devices anymore. Trust is a two-sided way. If one side breaks the trust, it is hard to fix and rebuild.
Another reason that parents shouldn’t access and monitor their kids’ social media is because teens will have their friends and secrets. Social media is a quite common way to get to know new friends. If parents over-control teen, it will make their teens feel awkward and unhappy. According to Ryan, 13, an eighth-grade student, ‘“If I’m texting someone, and I know my parents are checking my messages, then yeah I probably won’t say the stuff I would say if my parents weren’t checking. For example, I’d say “stinks” instead of “sucks,” or not swear when I’m really mad. However, it might make me feel uncomfortable when talking to someone, for example, a girl or a girlfriend. If nothing inappropriate is said, and it’s just talking, I don’t want my parents snooping into my social life.”’ If teens know that their parents are checking their messages, they will be uncomfortable. It is just like someone stalking and judging you but they are parents. Teens can’t be themselves in social media. They have to be polite, be nice, etc. As the matter of fact, social media is just like a diary which keeps the secrets. No one likes to have their diary read without asking, including kids. Parents probably won’t read children’s diary but why would parents want to spy into teens’ social media. Social media requires the account and password, so that means the owner wants it to be private or there are some their info or secrets. Therefore, parents shouldn’t be curious about teens’ world on the internet. It will just distance parents and their children because there is no trust between both of them.
A common argument against this position is that parents feel that they can control their children and expect that kids shouldn’t have secrets or anything that they don’t know. In Harlan Coben: Parent Spy, Marisol Diaz argues that “Does Coben think spying on teenagers’ social media activities is enjoyable? Absolutely no. In fact, he says that not spying is the easy way out. It’s tough for parents to learn about what goes on in chat rooms, to read the cruel comments of cyber bullies, and to find out that their assumption about their teens might be wrong. For example, spyware revealed to one of Coben’s friends that his daughter was using drugs and having a relationship with her dealer.” This example is used to illustrate that parents trust their teens, but actually the evidence shows that their kids can not be trusted. There is no more trust between parents and teens anymore. Their kids are totally different than their assumption of them. There is some truth to the argument that parents shouldn’t trust their kids or believe everything they say. However, not every kid has drugs or complicated relationships with the people of the opposite sex. If parents figure out that their kids are weird or stranger than before, they can try to talk and communicate with them and let them know what are the dangers on the internet but not just spy on their accounts. Mindy, mother of three teenagers says that she told her friends that she and her husband have never checked their kids’ Facebook page or their other social media. All of their friends felt shocked. When did the society change? When did trust become not important anymore? The evidence indicates that she and her husband really trust their kids and they understand them so they can give them the independence. To sum up, teens should be responsible over their life. If parents feel that their kids are different, they should put more attention on them but not control and take away all of the freedom of them.
In conclusion, parents should trust and respect their kids instead of judging and controlling. If parents do that, it will make their kids feel uncomfortable and realize that parents don’t believe them. Trust is a two-sided bridge to each hearts. If one side breaks the bridge, it is hard to build up again. Sometimes parents just want to protect their teens out of the dangers, however, teen’s knowledge is enough to separate what is good or bad. They should be responsible for what they did. Parents can not stay with them forever. Therefore, if you are still trying to spy into your kids’ social media, why you don’t start to believe them or talk to them. It is a start, isn’t it?