One commercial in particular struck a most topical note--it was for a product that turns teens' posts on Facebook or their text messages on cell phones into Mom friendly content. The commercial was titled "Damn It, My Mom is on Facebook".*
In its wry way, SNL had poked fun at an issue parents today face. True, parents have always faced this issue--that is finding out what your children are doing, and whether or not as a parent you are ever justified in snooping.
Years ago, I knew of a mother whose family called her "J. Edgar" for her snooping ways. She rifled through their dresser drawers, she read anything she found in their room, she looked under beds, lifted mattresses and so forth. I can't imagine what she would be doing in the present world of electronic communication.
Where once the parental dilemma might have been "should I read that diary or not?" now the question is "should I friend my child on Facebook or not?" Some parents handle the dilemma, especially for pre-teens, by not allowing a Facebook profile to their children under a specific age. Some parents limit computer and cell-phone use.
Many advice givers intone sternly--make sure your child does not have a computer in her room; place the computer in a family accessible location. Or, don't give your child a cell phone until...or get a plan that doesn't allow texting. Or whatever.
I have wondered what it might have been like for my husband and me as parents to raise our children in this over-exposed electronic age. Our questions dealt with more passive electronic--should she have a TV in her room or not. It is with great amusement that I recall the dilemma of my own teen years--having a radio in my room. I listened late at night, turning the volume way down low so my aunt and uncle (with whom I lived) wouldn't hear--generally rock and roll was verboten.
What do parents today do? Whatever it is, I would venture that the temptation to be a sleuth still rises within each parental breast. I come down on the side of honoring your children's privacy, but being very watchful and attuned to them.
How about you?------------------------------
*By the way, you can watch the SNL "commercial" here.