In an age of ever-increasing integration of our lives with technology, children are being exposed at earlier and earlier ages to systems and devices that allow them to connect with people around the world. While this can be a positive thing for kids hoping to connect to others with similar interests to them, it can also lead to interactions with adults that are not appropriate, or even predatory. Additionally, children up to a certain age are not intellectually mature enough to differentiate between appropriate conduct and inappropriate conduct in some situations, and may end up making choices about what to share with the internet that they could regret later. This can include embarrassing or inappropriate material, but it can also be things like bullying others on the internet, or engaging in hateful activity or conversations without realizing that what they were saying could hurt someone else. However, monitoring to attempt to protect children from making mistakes or from the potential of harm from the outside should be limited. As a child matures into their teenage years, they should be trusted to make good decisions for themselves, rather than be spied upon or have their hand held by parents. If a parent has done a decent job of raising the child up to that point, it should be expected that they are capable of conducting themselves responsibly.
Children have always socialized away from their parents and had private conversations with their peers, and things should not change now. What has changed is the way in which people communicate - much communication is currently done online through email and social networking sites. Even though there is an electronic trail of communication now, it does not mean that children should not have the privacy to communicate with their friends.