Parent-Child Dynamic of Online Privacy: How Much is Too Much?

Local teen shares his view


Published:

With so many social networks in use today, the amount of privacy a parent should give their child is an important consideration.

Photo courtesy of Lenka Horavova/Shutterstock

As this nation falls head over heels into the age of technology, and more and more people gain access to social media, one of the biggest points of debate concerns online privacy. Online privacy is an umbrella term that can include a number of concepts: password protection, location tracking and offering personal information for certain functions, for example. But one question that hits home for a lot of people is: How much privacy should parents give their children? Social media undoubtedly offers us good things like connections to far away people, a daily dose of humor, and career options, but its dangers are nonetheless quite evident.

I was actually on the way to school one morning and had the radio on for background noise when something came up related to this. The host of the show said someone she knew had a daughter who had some social media accounts, and the parent wanted to know how much space she should give her daughter, or if she should let her have social media access at all. This host posed the question to listeners who could call in and it seemed like every caller had a little bit of a different spin to their answer. Some said she should be allowed to do as she pleases, some said the parent should be very in tune and checking in on her daughter’s social media, and some even said she shouldn’t have it at all based on her age. Every caller had various reasons for their answers. This got me wondering about what I personally would do if I were a parent in this situation, and I began to look at all the pieces to the equation.

Taking these two viewpoints into account I decided, as I often do, that it is best to take a moderate approach, maybe leaning towards parents being more involved. By doing this a parent can still protect the child from the dangers of the internet, while at the same time maintain the respect of the child and allow him or her to enjoy the good things social media has to offer.

The next question I asked myself is, “What steps it would take to exercise this approach well and get the most out of it?” One thing would be for parents to follow or friend their child’s page and instill the important principle of “If you aren’t comfortable with me seeing it, it’s not a good idea to post it.” That is an important principle in all aspects of life beyond social media, and will prevent your child from making decisions that could really hurt him or her in the long run.

Another thing a parent could do is to simply check in every week or two and ask who their child has been communicating with. I believe asking is much more effective than taking the device and looking through all the messages, because a child wants to know that his or her parent can at least trust him or her, and believe that when asked he or she will give an honest answer. It is very important to ask because leaving your child completely unchecked could lead to him or her communicating with someone who seems harmless at first, but ends up becoming very dangerous.

One last thing I believe to be important is to have a talk with your child before they open social media accounts, and talk to your child about avoiding the dangers associated with those accounts. If your child knows not to answer random messages and avoid pages that ask for personal information beforehand, he or she will be much more prepared to defend himself or herself.

I believe actions that go beyond these steps are too controlling and cause a child to lose respect or fight back against his or her parent, which could ruin the good things social media has to offer. Now, every child is different, but I truly believe that by standing by your child, not away from or hovering over him or her, you can help protect your child while also offering him or her the freedom every child desires as he or she begins to age.


Alex Baker is a senior at Apex High School. He plays basketball and lacrosse, and is also a member of the school's Academy of Information Technology.

 

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View map »


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Cost: $11

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Cost: $70/month

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View map »


Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
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More information

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Website »

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Art Walk featuring local galleries and artist studios in historic downtown Hillsborough on the Last Friday of every month (no Art Walk in December).

Cost: FREE

Where:
Downtown Hillsborough (multiple locations)
102 N. Churton St.
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Hillsborough Arts Council
Telephone: 919-643-2500
Contact Name: Torey Mishoe
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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
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The Engage Art Contest is a juried competition for original Visual Art, Music Video, Film and Performing Arts. The topic is the Spiritual Battle described in Ephesians 6:10-20 and related...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online
PO Box 78951
Charlotte, NC  28271
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Sponsor: Engage Art Contest
Telephone: 980-999-1447
Contact Name: Ranika Chaney
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Forget tourist-filled museums, make your own memories with a photo scavenger hunt tour in Raleigh! On a Let’s Roam scavenger hunt, you and your team will work together to wander throughout...

Cost: $11

Where:
500 S Salisbury St
raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Let's Roam
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Farmers markets are essential to the livelihood of farmers and food producers and are exempt from the Governor's Stay at Home Order (page 6). Farmers markets offer an efficient way for residents to...

Cost: free

Where:
Holly Springs Cultural Center
300 W. Ballentine St.
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Farmers Market Coordinator
Telephone: 919-567-4010
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PARENTS JOIN OUR DHHS APPROVEDCPR/AED & First Aid Certification ClassesFoster parents are required to be CPR & First Aid certified. Parents, bring your child to class with you. Children 10 years...

Cost: 50-80

Where:
Holly Springs, NC
1001 Silverstone Way
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Save A Life Now Training Center LLC
Telephone: 919-215-6942
Contact Name: Valentina Cordoba
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PARENTS JOIN OUR DHHS APPROVEDCPR/AED & First Aid Certification ClassesFoster parents are required to be CPR & First Aid certified. Must register in advance. Space is limited. Parents, bring your...

Cost: 50-80

Where:
Holly Springs, NC
1001 Silverstone Way
Holly Springs, NC  27540
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Sponsor: Save A Life Now Training Center LLC
Telephone: 919-215-6942
Contact Name: Valentina Cordoba
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Amongst the ancient oak trees is the heart of Raleigh. We'll help you see the forest for the trees and all its magic splendor. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a lively small group activity...

Cost: $11

Where:
Downtown
500 S Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Let's Roam
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: Kelly
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Kindermusik is a research-based early childhood curriculum that includes 45-minute classroom lessons with materials and resources that encourages parental involvement . Research has linked...

Cost: $70/month

Where:
Hope Community Building
2080 E Williams St
Hope Community Building, Fuquay Varina Room
Apex/Holly Springs, NC  27539
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Telephone: 191-990-25432
Contact Name: Leigh Hamm
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Live online classes for kids - FREE! Kids and families can join our online classes from home while school is out. Our special guests teach kids about art, medicine, music, cooking, science and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Online at your Home
265 Cambridge Ave #60923
Palo Alto, NC  94306
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Sponsor: ActivityHero
Telephone: 800-437-6125
Contact Name: Mabelle
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Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
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Join one of our talented Mid-South Fencers’ Club coaches for a one hour virtual lesson to the fast paced and exciting sport of Olympic Fencing! This will be a FREE ONLINE class. All you need is...

Cost: free

Where:
Mid-South Fencers' Club ONLINE
125 N. Gregson St.
DURHAM, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Mid-South Fencers' Club
Telephone: 919-286-3100
Contact Name: Jeff Kallio
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It's time to play... TAKEOUT BINGO!!!  Take a screenshot or download the game board. Mark off the locations you visit. Share your progress on Facebook and Instagram using #CRTakeoutBingo. Send...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Crossroads Plaza
Crossroad Blvd
Suite 215
Cary, NC  27518
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Sponsor: Crossroads Plaza/ Kimco Realty
Telephone: 864-979-2291
Contact Name: Katie Earnhardt
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We invite all Triangle youth between the ages of 8 thru 17 with a sincere interest in the Performance Art of Magic to join Magic Youth Raleigh! This youth program teaches magic history and theory,...

Cost: $35 per Student

Where:
New Horizons Fellowship
820 E. Williams St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Sponsor: The International Brotherhood of Magicians
Contact Name: Roger Way
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The Beaver Queen Pageant is the Triangle’s own special mix of folly, pageantry, and humor. Contestants take on beaver personalities and compete for the title of Beaver Queen with their fashion,...

Cost: free

Where:
Online
, NC


Sponsor: Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
Telephone: 919-698-9729
Contact Name: Rachel Cohn
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River Jam at the U.S. National Whitewater Center brings together live musical performances throughout the year to a one-of-a-kind outdoor venue, right in the middle of the world’s largest...

Cost: $6

Where:
USNWC
5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy
Charlotte, NC  28214
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Sponsor: USNWC
Telephone: 704-391-3900
Contact Name: Jenny Hill
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Get your summer vibes going at the 1st Annual Hubb’s Beach Blast at Hubb’s Farm in Clinton, NC.  Hubb’s Beach Blast will feature two of beach music industry’s top groups, Jim Quick and...

Cost: 20-50

Where:
Hubb's Farm
10276 US HWY 421 N
Clinton, NC  28328
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Sponsor: Hubb's Farm
Telephone: 910-564-6709
Contact Name: Tammy Peterson
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