Teenagers. They think they know it all. They think that they're the first person to ever think of or do something in the history of everything. They believe they're invincible, physically and emotionally, and that they can do what they want, when they want, how they want, and that parents will never know the difference.
They're wrong, of course. Dead wrong. Really wrong. Absolutely wrong. Hysterically wrong, even.
And just as I was about to post on my blog that nothing of any interest happened today other than hours and hours of rain, thunder, and lightning, I saw it. I went to my Facebook account to see what my family/friends have been up to over the past few hours and enjoy some pleasant entertainment. Little did I know that I would be seeing things -- suggestive photos, offensive phrases, etc. -- in my news feed. Not from my adult friends, but from Youngest Son.
I loudly yelled for him to come into where the family computer is and asked him what in his little head thought that posting or liking these items was appropriate. He denied clicking on one but said that the second photo was funny. He'd only looked at the top of the photo and didn't see the graphic imagery in the bottom. He also had "liked" a page about a cartoon character that I reviewed and found every-other post had something offensive, or at least inappropriate for a teenager, in them. And this wasn't for a cartoon character designed for adults (i.e. Family Guy, The Simpsons, anything from "Adult Swim," etc.). This was for a kids' cartoon show -- so obviously this was not an authorized page.
He'd finally earned between 5 and 10 minutes of Internet time to check his emails and Facebook page without us having to stand directly over him. Guess what's happened to that?
I made sure to post on his page using his account (since I don't allow my children to have Internet accounts for which I don't have password access) so that all of his "friends" would see the new rules. Any future inappropriate posts by him will be deleted and any inappropriate posts to his page by his "friends" will be deleted and reported to Facebook. And the "friendship" just might be terminated as well.
I respect his privacy as a person by allowing him to do those things which need to be done in private behind closed doors (bathing, dressing, etc.). But, as his parent, I assert my ability to check on anything he has or brings into the house to ensure that it is deemed appropriate for a teenager and not something that we do not allow. That includes anything "brought into" the house via the Internet. My house; my rules. And his older brother can attest to the fact that those rules are absolute -- he got caught a few times with inappropriate items and faced consequences for it. As long as someone is residing in my house without paying rent, their share of the utilities, and insurance, I get to see everything. And with Husband having previously worked at one of our state's penitentiaries, he's very good at quickly turning-out a room to make sure nothing is hidden.
Eldest Son has tried many times to warn Youngest Son about how things are going to be as he grows up. With the 10-year difference in their ages, Eldest Son knows what Youngest Son will be facing in school with friends and enemies alike. He's tried and tried to warn Youngest Son that "Mom isn't stupid! She will find out! And your dad will too and if he finds out first he won't hide it from Mom!"
Poor, poor Youngest Son. He thinks he's so mature. He has no idea just how much more maturing he's still got to do. And he'll be doing it without the company of a lot of friends if he doesn't straighten his act up now.