On a weekend morning when M was in junior high, I received a pivotal phone call from a dear friend. The first warning of rough seas ahead came in the way she quietly, questioned my name; I could tell something was up.
She was inquiring about M’s Facebook account, specifically, had I seen it lately. Ignorantly proud I reported that, yes, I was on his account regularly and approved everything. Silence.
I broke the uncomfortable pause, “I’m logging onto his account right now…”
As I was logging into his FB account with pride, I explain how we recently had a productive talk with him about internet usage. We had covered all areas and were extremely clear about our expectations. (I was certain we covered everything because I printed a super checklist from a great parenting site to assist us with this conversation.) Not only had this discussion been informative and strict, of course in a loving, parental way, but it also included our guidelines for internet site passwords, as he was required to share all passwords with us.
By now I was “in” his FB account. It looked just fine to me and with pride I again reported that I was “okay” with what he was posting. More silence.
Her silence was confusing me. But then suddenly, like a lightning strike, my mind entered the new seas upon which this mother ship was embarking. I quickly rebound, “I’ll call you right back.”
After a few panicked minutes in the ocean of Facebook, I made a disturbing discovery. I noticed that he was commenting to friends’ posts with a slightly different version of his name. I follow that link and confirm my discovery; he had created a secret account. This account was the one from which he was posting the comments, joining the groups, and sharing a “status” that sunk my ship.
I called my friend back. Mentally drained and exhausted, I whispered…Thank you. I’m on it, and I’ll call you back tonight.