Sunday, 24 June 2012

The dangers of Facebook

We had ourselves a serious generational fight over Facebook this weekend.
The old guard won the battle and hopefully the younger generation will get the message.
It is NOT okay to put inappropriate photos of a young child on Facebook.
To the other side -- who were not the parents -- it seemed normal, to show images of them partying with my granddaughter in tow. After all, they've been posting these kind of pictures for years.
You know the ones: mouths gaping, fingers splayed defiantly, the look of waste in their rheumy eyes. Every kid who hasn't been laced straight has posted these kind of images -- even kids I would have thought knew better. It seems they haven't yet got the message that what you post on Facebook stays on Facebook, and also stays on your permanent record.
Images like these keep people from getting good jobs once they've outgrown the party phase. If the kids are celebrities -- or serial killers -- the photos would be splashed all over television to remind us of the folly of the open cyber-road.
There's no point going into great detail about what caused the fuss this weekend.
There were no bad intentions on the other side. They were just young kids having a bit of fun.
Suffice it to say, there was a photograph taken of my young granddaughter with a male making a lewd gesture toward her while she looked unhappily at the camera, clearly uncomfortable with the situation.
To me, it was horrific and the offending parties received a harsh email from me insisting that the photo be taken down. To which, the offending parties replied, basically, go fuck yourself. To which, I replied that they were exposing my granddaughter to pedophiles who might like this particular pose and keep it for themselves on a memory stick somewhere.
The offending parties were shocked at what I wrote and how I wrote it -- sometimes being a writer can make words seem like a loaded gun. It worked and they took down the offending photo. I'm sure they will think twice about doing this again.
Granny Rose is watching.
It's why I think Facebook is in need of adult supervision. All of my kids are friends with me on Facebook. I respect their independence and privacy, but I am prepared to call them on stupid, rude and possibly dangerous Facebook behavior.
My son was not present at the photo shoot, and no physical harm was done to my granddaughter.
But I hope he learned a valuable lesson with this exercise.
As with all things, it's important to monitor how others interact with your children.
And it's important to take seriously your role as the guardian of your child's image.
Especially in these days of oversharing on Facebook.
My son learned that it's his job now to be the adult.
Granny Rose won't be around forever.

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