12: Red Sky in Morning, Sailors Take Warning

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.

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