One of my favorite movies is “The Dark Knight” in the rebooted Batman series. The “Joker” said in that movie to Batman that “there’s no going back, you’ve changed things…forever”. How fitting are those words, especially when it comes to social media these days. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other socially interactive websites have changed many things in our world. However, not all of its impact has been chocolates and roses.
I was browsing YouTube a couple days ago, and came across an interesting video entitled “Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen.” (Warning – The video contains some harsh language). After being posted this past Thursday, the video gained almost twenty million views and over two hundred thousand likes (it was closer to thirty thousand when I first viewed it Friday). The video was posted by a clearly angry father, who wanted to show the world his reaction to a troubling Facebook post made by his teenage daughter.
She “vented” out a lot of frustration in her life publicly on Facebook, including expressing dislike with her chores, and a lot of it was directed towards her family. The father indicated that this wasn’t the first time that she had posted something questionable before. In the short summary of the video, he says that “Today, my daughter is getting a dose of tough love.” The father was particularly disgusted because apparently the day before seeing the post he had just upgraded his daughter’s laptop, spending a considerable amount of money in the process.
After expressing his disappointment in his daughter’s actions, he moved the camera taking the video to show his daughter’s laptop. He then pulls out a pistol and shoots several rounds into the laptop, effectively rendering it useless. I got to admit: I sat in front of my computer jaw dropped at what I was seeing. At the end of the video, he says that if his daughter wants another laptop, she will buy it herself.
Let’s step back and give a round of applause to this guy. I wish more parents were like this. Sometimes kids these days just need a good ole kick in the rear. Some kids are flat out spoiled. They don’t have a clue how good life is for them. And this is why parents should hesitate and think when they hear their kids asking them if they can have a Facebook account. The internet has changed a lot over the years, and with new social media outlets, everything has become more and more publicly visible.
And it’s not only about the risks with teenagers and younger children. We’ve seen over the past year or so many cases with professional athletes, politicians, and other high profile celebrities where questionable posts on social media sites have stirred anger and brewed controversy. Twenty years ago, you would only hear about questionable comments and remarks from newspapers, radios, and television shows.
Today? People can view them in a minute on their iPhone or tablet, and word can spread as quickly as wildfire. Social media is great in that it makes communication overall much easier between everyone. But the drawback? Everyone will see it, in some form or another. Be careful what you post.