Cyberparenting and The Risk of T.M.I.

by gurumommy on May 7, 2013

in from the desk of

05BIGMOTHER-articleLargeUgh, this article Pamela Paul wrote in the NY Times on Sunday couldn’t be more timely for me & more confusing!  “Cyberparenting and The Risk of T.M.I.” she writes that:  It may be a timeless curse of parenthood to know simultaneously too much about one’s teenager and yet never access the information one actually wants.” Meaning, how do we know when to speak up, stalk in the background and just stay quiet about our kids movements on social media (instagram stalking anyone?).  She continues:  “Yes, we know contemporary parents are hyperinvolved in their children’s lives. But the term “helicopter parent,” with its menacing tones of parental omniscience, has nothing on the intimate reach of the cyberparent. A helicopter hovers above, at a safe distance, with lots of insulating air between. Cyberparents, on the other hand, are squished right up next to their offspring.

Some parents use the “fly on the wall” approach, monitoring regularly or checking in periodically, without comment either online or off. Others prefer the “pick your battles” method, reserving action for moments when a sister says, “Hmm, I saw that picture your daughter posted” or an impolitic slang phrase is flung online in an iffy manner. Then there are the polar extreme tactics of “head in the sand” and “not until you’re 18.”


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