Arguing a position
Watch Video: Facebook Parenting: For the Troubled Teen
Read Articles: Facebook Parenting is destroying our children’s privacy Facebook Safety. It’s still up to the parents, experts say
Your goal in this essay is to assess the punishment you watched in the video and decide to what extent it is or isn’t justified. You will take one of three possible positions for your thesis: yes it is justified, no it is not, or it’s justified to some extent. In order to choose a position and defend it, you will need to assess the wrong that this young woman has committed and the punishment meted out by her father. You will then examine the video in the context of the source material, synthesizing what you’ve seen and what you’ve read. There is no right or wrong answer here. What’s more important is how you present your argument, so that your reasoning is clear and your position is supported with sound logic and evidence.
As you formulate your response, try to put yourself in the position of both the parent and the daughter and consider the following as you formulate your argument:
• What is the father’s objective in creating this video and does he achieve it? • Is his response (or any portion of his response) justified—why/why not? • If you were the parent in this situation, how would you have resolved this issue and ensured that your child was accountable for his/her behavior? • How has Facebook affected our interpersonal relations and changed the concept of privacy? • Should/can there be an expectation of privacy in the digital age?
In your response you’ll want to reference and analyze moments from the video that are relevant to your argument and pair that with evidence from the other source material to support your points. Your evidence should include direct quotes, paraphrases or summaries from the video and accompanying articles.
LENGTH & FORMAT
Submissions should be 750 words/typed–this is the word count for the paper’s body itself. Your word count should not include the header. Please follow the Formatting Guidelines in the Resources folder. Note: Submissions not properly formatted will drop 1/2 of a letter grade.
• You must have a clearly stated thesis (idea and motive) in your introduction. • Your response must incorporate evidence from your source material (video + articles). • Evidence must include parenthetical in-text citations. Refer to the MLA section of the Pocket Manual for citation formatting as well as documents in the Lecture Topics & Handouts folder.
Anne Hrabe, Wilmette mother of five, is vigilant about monitoring her children’s activities on Facebook. She doesn’t allow them have their own account until high school, knows their passwords, sets rules about who they can friend, and demands kindness and appropriate language online.
“They love Facebook. It’s become an integral part of their lives,” she said. “But they’re kids.”
So she doesn’t leave things to chance. Hrabe sets strict social networking rules such as using all the privacy settings and regularly discusses good online decision-making with her kids. And she turns situations– such as when a Facebook picture of a student drinking beer landed in the yearbook at her son’s high school– into teaching moments.
Sound like a lot of work? It is. But with 400 million active users on Facebook and 93 percent of kids ages 12 to 17 using the internet, parents must monitor their children’s online activities as attentively as they monitor what the kids do offline, experts say.
The statistics come from a 2010 study by the Pew Research Center. With the dramatic usage numbers and the potential risks, Facebook added a new “safety center” to the site last week, a good way to increase awareness of social networking issues such as cyber bullying, stalking and inappropriate posting. But it isn’t a replacement for good parenting.
Parents are responsible for teaching their children proper online behavior and helping them avoid dangerous situations, said Cris Clapp Logan, director of communication at Enough is Enough, a Washington, D.C.-based children’s internet safety group that helped advise Facebook in creating the center.
“Parents are still the first line of defense,” she said. “They can’t leave it up to Facebook or up to their filtering and monitoring software.”
It is common sense that kids are not ready to be left to run wild on social networking sites, said Larry Rosen, a professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills and the author of several books about children and their cyber activity. You wouldn’t let your young child who can’t swim hang out near the pool unsupervised, he said, so why let them surf the internet alone?
“It’s your job to teach them how to swim,” he said.
Hrabe agrees. Her children don’t fully grasp the long-term consequences of posting inappropriate or even mean things, she said. That’s why she needs to be supervising what they do on social networking sites, she said.
“If ‘mom is going to be mad’ is the motivation [to make good choices], that’s okay with me,” she said.
Some 60 million status updates are posted each day on Facebook, 3 billion photos are uploaded to the site each month and more than 5 billion pieces of content (including notes and blog posts) are shared each week, according to current Facebook statistics. The site is teeming with personal information, which is why parents need to teach kids how to leave a “responsible digital footprint,” Clapp Logan said.
“Online content lasts forever,” she said, and can come back to haunt you when applying to college or looking for a job.
But in order to supervise their kids on social networking sites, parents must be willing to get familiar with the technology even if it is uncomfortable, said Nadine Norris, instructional technology coordinator for a school district in Palatine. She has a Facebook account and is friends with her kids online, she said, so she can constantly see what they are doing in the cyber world.
“It’s an environment to them,” Norris said. “Their friends are there, they’re hanging out just like they would offline. I want to be there.”
The worst thing parents can do is try to take away social networking sites, experts warn. If parents take away access to the computer indefinitely or overreact to situations, kids will not feel comfortable talking to them in the future about online situations that arise, Norris said. And parents shouldn’t view Facebook negatively, Clapp Logan said. It can be a great tool that encourages collaboration, communication and learning if it is used correctly and parents are engaged in their kid’s involvement.
“This is the social hub of the kids’ lives,” she said. “This is the new cafeteria. This is the new meeting place. This is where kids can come and do great things.”
‘Facebook parenting’ is destroying our children’s privacy. By Aisha Sultan and Jon Miller, CNN–Fri May 25, 2012
(CNN) -Today’s 30-somethings are the first generation whose children are coming of age alongside the social Web.
Technology is making an indelible imprint on modern parenting, and there is a sense that our data, our personal information, are no longer within our control. But new research findings indicate that openness and information sharing are a way of life for many adults, and personal privacy is readily compromised, along with personal information about one’s children.
In an attempt to understand how much privacy matters in this digital age, we questioned 4,000 young adults as part of the Longitudinal Study of American Youth, the largest and longest-running nationwide survey of its kind. The same participants have been surveyed every year since 1987, when they were public middle or high school students across the country. The sample is now 37 to 40 years old. Nearly a quarter of these Generation X young adults expressed a high level of concern about online privacy, while 40% reported a low level of concern. But the behaviors were more telling: Nearly 70% said they have shared their own photos online and post about nine personal pictures each year. More than half (55%) said they have shared information or posted pictures from a vacation. Also, nearly two-thirds of parents (66%) reported posting pictures of their children online, and slightly more than half (56%) shared news of a child’s accomplishment.
Well-intentioned parents with great instincts have a desire to share and connect about their children, which often helps foster and maintain social ties to relatives and friends. Our extended families live in different states, and we enjoy being able to keep up with siblings, nieces and nephews. But there is a cost to connection, and many are unclear about what is lost and what is at stake. By and large, the short- term implications of less-guarded personal privacy may be limited in scope, such as being vulnerable to burglary if vacation plans are publicly announced or victim to possible identity theft. There are also amplified consequences to using poor judgment when posting online, such as getting fired or sustaining damage to one’s reputation. But, there are also the decisions made about us that happen in the shadows, the calculations of who merits credit or constitutes an insurance risk, which are harder to track and weigh. On the most basic level, we want to be able to tell our story about our lives. But, in the case of our children, a permanent and public story has already been recorded about them before they have a chance to decide whether they want to participate or even whether the narrative is true to their own vision of self.
In our survey, the greatest reported levels of concern about online privacy relate to online credit card use (67% said they were very or somewhat concerned) and online banking services (61%), followed by concerns about social networks (57%). Concerns about social networks were greater than those about online medical records, search engines, instant messaging and texting. How this concern translates into behavior is less clear.
The message from parents, as witnessed from behavior, is clear. Children grow up learning that posting pictures of one’s self and sharing personal information is typical. We’ve created a sense of normality about a world where what’s private is public. The sense of being entitled to privacy has been devalued. And our children will never have known a world without this sort of exposure. What does a worldview lacking an expectation of privacy mean for the rest of society?
The founders of our Constitution could not have imagined a democracy in which our physical movements are tracked by cell phones, our personal correspondence is scanned for key words by corporations and we willingly surrender our reading lists and fleeting private thoughts. It’s an arrangement we’ve made not just for ourselves but for our children, as well. When many parents are confronted about what it means to raise children in an era of greatly diminished privacy, the most common responses are: I really have nothing to hide, and who would be interested in my life, anyway? But these rationalizations miss the point, because privacy is one of those nebulous rights that don’t matter until it matters. Who worries about Miranda rights until an arrest?
We are living in an era in which every keystroke online, from the information you search for to videos you watch to things you consider buying, is collected, stored, archived, aggregated and potentially shared or sold. And regardless of the false sense of security offered by the key on the upper right corner of your keyboard, there is no delete key for the Internet. Once it’s out there, it’s probably out there forever.
There is a spectrum, of course, of parental behavior toward their children’s private lives, from those who sequester and smother their children in a misguided attempt to protect them to those who exploit and commercialize on the largest stages available. But never before have parents had the ability to publish the details of their children’s lives in such a widespread manner. A potentially embarrassing anecdote won’t faze a toddler, but how does the unilateral flow of information affect a tween or teenager?
More than 900 million of us (and counting) willingly participate in this exchange of information for convenience and connection. But we implicate more than ourselves in the transaction.
We have a right for our data to not rise up and destroy us. We have a right to create our own narrative about our lives. We have a right to control how much we want the world to know about us. These are fundamental to our personal autonomy. Our children deserve the same protections.
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