This is an older article that was brought back in lieu of the social media-based backlash against the conviction of two teens for rape in Ohio. The lesson clearly pointed out below is this:
FORGET what you THINK you KNOW. When it comes to what your child is doing online with that device you have put in their hands… Trust me, you really have absolutely no clue.
November 27, 2012
The secret life of my sixth grader
By Wendy Sachs, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: In Steubenville, Ohio, the social media-based backlash against the conviction of two teens for rape is riling a community already in turmoil. The article below, originally published in November 2012, details one mother’s anxiety around her son’s “secret life” online and how she polices his Internet use.
(CNN) — My sixth grader has a secret life online.
It wasn’t so secret about a week ago when I discovered his public profile on Instagram, where he was posting dramatic photos and soulful “Versagrams” (graphical text messages), for all the world to see. One moment he was in love, the next full of despair. I was stunned.
My 11-year-old son has never let on that he is remotely interested in girls. Not a word. And he’s not exactly the middle school kid with swagger. He’s a relatively shy guy. Yet, his Instagram avatar was boldly flirting with a girl, prolifically posting inside jokes about his crush and inviting commentary not only from his school friends, but also from a far-flung social network of kids from Connecticut to New Jersey who I am certain he’s never met in person.
His phone was beeping nonstop for three days, with a stream of frenzied text messages and Instagram posts. Something big was going on. My son wanted to ask a girl out. Did she like him, too? He wasn’t sure, but from what I saw online, this was hardly confidential information. His plan for asking her out was getting circulated in cyberspace and he had several kids weighing in on both the strategy and his likelihood for success. He was fully exposed on multiple virtual platforms, and that was terrifying to me. He clearly didn’t understand the full impact of online activity. What should I do? < READ FULL STORY
PC Pandora computer monitoring software will show you EXACTLY what your child does on the computer.