Parents and guardians should be more involved in their children's social networking because nowadays, kids are bullying on social networks or making plans to do things that the parents would frown upon. Parents should have the passwords to their kids' accounts to see what they are up to.
Direct parental interference with social networking is an unnecessary invasion of privacy. If parents were to have the passwords to their children's social media accounts, this would give children a strong sense of unease. It is one thing for a parent to be able to see the posted information, but enabling them to log into the account gives allows them full access to deleting or changing things. This is taking precautions too far. Also, the parents would then be able to see the information of all their child's friends/followers on the social media sights. Many of the friends/followers would be unknowingly having adults they are not friends with viewing their personal updates and pictures that were meant for their friend's eyes only. This is violating their privacy. As a teenager, I would feel uncomfortable knowing people whom I have not requested as friends would be able to vie my information through my friend's account. Giving parents the passwords to their children's accounts is taking parental involvement too far.
As a teenager, I have seen other teens bully others on these social networking sites. The parents should just know the password to see that their child is not getting into any trouble. These parents are not crazy stalkers of their children's friends; they are making sure their children are safe. The crazy stalkers may be out there trying to contact the parent's naive children. Pedophiles and 'catfish' people will always be on these websites and for the safety of the children, parents should be able to know who their children are conversing with.
75% of parents in America already stay connected with their children through various social media sights. Many parents request that their children add them as friends on Facebook or other social media sites. This allows them to be able to view who their children are interacting with as well as the content they are posting while still giving their child a sense of privacy and independence. Being able to have access to social networking sites is a privilege parents give their children. The child is meant to handle it with responsibility and gain a sense of independence. The current level of parent involvement in social media is enough.
Just because they can see what their child is posting on a website does not mean their child is safe. Kids communicate through direct messages and they can also delete updates on their wall that show who they accepted as their friends. Special Agent Wesley Tagtmeyer, a veteran cyber investigator in the FBI's Chicago office who works undercover during online investigations, said "In my experience, about 70 percent of young people will accept "friend" requests regardless of whether they know the requester." Teenagers can also edit their settings so that people who are not their friends can see all of their information and direct message them.
Not every requester on a social networking site is a threat or a stalker. In fact, the majority of posts on Facebook are only seen by 12-16% of a person's friends. This percentage is made up of mostly close friends of the individual. Many users of social networking sites have little to no contact with a large portion of their friend list after adding them as friends.
Most teenagers do not take the initiative to talk to people that add them but when others talk to them, they respond. Teens are naive, curious, and lonely. When a seemingly nice stranger talks to them, they will respond without thinking much about the situation. Parents should look over this 'friendship' process. I was not saying everyone on a social networking website is a threat. Social networking is great to connect with friends and family however, teens can have trouble differentiating between a friendly stranger and a creep.
While some teenagers may be inclined to respond to a stranger online, many are able to tell if the person they are communicating with is a "creep". Because of photographs, mutual friends, and other information, it is not always difficult to differentiate between a harmless stranger and someone more suspicious. Also, because other friends of the individual are able to see their activity, they would be aware if the individual was dangerously interacting with a suspicious character. Although posts can always be deleted, it is not likely a teenager would feel the need to hide things if they believed the stranger was harmless.
In order to protect their children, parents should have the password to their kids' social networking sites. To be aware of bullies, pedophiles, and plans that might bring around trouble, parents should work with their kids to keep them safe.
Giving their parents the passwords to their social networking accounts takes away a teenager's sense of freedom. It also would make them feel as though their parents did not trust them. If a parent allows their child to use social media, chances are the child is old enough to handle themself responsibly without extreme levels of parental control and interference. They are not babies. While parents should be aware of their children's online activities, there is a line that should not be crossed. Increased levels of parental involvement in their child's social networking, such as knowing the passwords, is taking things too far.