By: Alli Weiss
Sitting at dinner with my best friends, I observe a classic family of four — son, daughter, mother, father— all four texting frantically, looking up every so often only to mumble the obligatory “How was your day?” to the group. Later, I come home and log onto Facebook only to find that my ex-babysitter, now a mom of three, has encroached upon my newsfeed yet again. She’s taken the whole technology mom thing a little too far and is keeping the world fully updated, all the way down to her son’s latest diaper change. This technology obsession is not acceptable.
Now I’m not just an on-looker. If Blackberry messaging were an Olympic sport, I could undoubtedly get a bronze medal for my typing speed and efficient response time. But I realize that the technology monster is lurking behind me each and every time that I sit in a snooze-fest class, yearning to check my buzzing Blackberry. Sometimes, I just want to throw my cell phone out the window, unplug my computer chords and go back to the days of getting information from text books, not Mac Books.
Being the realist that I am, I know that our society is far too addicted to the neon and glitz of the technology craze to suddenly disband all iphones and obliterate all Facebook and Twitter accounts; texting and Internet use have become our major vices. A recent article in the Sun-Sentinel gave some ideal rules for family survival in the technological era; here are my own revised rules for the teenagers of the house!
- Do not post any secrets on Facebook!
My friend once uploaded a photo from an excursion to our local yogurt shop; of course, she failed to ask her parents’ permission before leaving on said yogurt outing, and the photo led to three solid weeks of grounding. Moral of the story, Facebook and sites like it are public and, therefore, you never know who is watching you.
- Please don’t cyber bully!
The click of a mouse can lead to a world of emotional pain for a peer! And bullying a peer online only makes the bully appear lackluster in the confidence department. If you see someone being bullied online, tell a trusted adult or try to keep the situation from spiraling into a huge problem.
- Comply with the rules your parents make about social networking and technology use.
I know, I know. It’s a little absurd for your parents to limit your computer usage to one hour a day, and the 3000 text monthly plan is totally irrational, but in the long run, you will actually accomplish a ton more schoolwork and thus have a ton more face time with your friends if you don’t sit in front of the computer like a blob all day. There’s a method to your parents’ madness.