Are Your Parents Stalking Your Life on the Web?

By Jamie Epstein June 26, 2012

There’s an extremely thin line between parents ensuring their kids are using the World Wide Web for good rather than bad, and taking it too far, transitioning from overly protective helicopter parents to pure stalkers.

Take Jill Ross, a Denver, Colo. Parent, recently highlighted in a piece featured in The New York Times. When she was alarmed to discover that her 16-year-old daughter created her own video channel that was purely for fun and served as a place where her and her friends could act like silly adolescents, Ross took immediate action and decided to unknowingly subscribe to the channel updates so she could get a bird’s eye view into every video posted on YouTube the second it happened.

“It’s a matter of knowing your kids,” a statement revealed. This plan is not that uncommon in today’s technologically advanced world. While in earlier years, underage kids were simply blocked from viewing sites that weren’t deemed appropriate by their parental units, nowadays it’s more common for good ol’ mom and dad to use solutions to their advantage to keep tabs on their offspring’s every move on the Internet.

In fact, there are multiple products currently on the market that let parents see exactly who and when their kids were speaking to someone and can even view the conversation in its entirety if they have the time. Another solution available is installed directly into smartphones, enabling parents to track the locations their children have recently been or how fast they were driving their vehicle to get there.

However, according to findings from a recent survey sponsored in conjunction with Cox Communications and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the average American family uses five Internet-enabled devices at home and barely one in five parents uses parental controls on those devices.

Now I know there are some scary creepers out there in cyber space just waiting to attack and pray on some naïve less-than-legal teens, but when does looking out for your spawn transition into interfering too much? That you will have to judge for yourself, but if you teach your kids what to do and not to do online, chances are they will stay away from doing something that could endanger their wellbeing.

Now, Mary Cofield recently took the bull by the horns and gave her 15-year-old granddaughter a brand new, state-of-the-art Android phone with the sole condition of being able to monitor her.

“My theory is, you’ve got to be in the game to help them know what’s wrong and what’s right,” she said. “Keeping them from it is not going to work. You can either be out there with them in the game – or they’ll be out there without you.”

Edited by Braden Becker

TechZone360 Web Editor

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