Surf, Blog, Chat, Tag, Post, Connect: What is Your Teenager Up To?
I am lying in bed and trying to unwind after a long day of pick ups, drop offs, camp, work all day, dinner time, family time, dog time and I am tired. It’s my “me” time, when I finally get to have an hour or so to myself, before sleep sets in and it starts all over again. On my cell phone, scrolling Facebook and commenting on that cute pic my BFF posted of her dog, I can finally relax. Occasionally, I will do a quick check on email. On this particular night, as I was just getting to that relaxed state . . . I logged on email and had quite the shock.
It seems I was the lucky “winner” of an Ebay bid. What was I the lucky winner of, you ask??? A pair of Air Jordan 11 XI Bred CDP’s, size 8.5! Now mind you, I have not bought a new pair of sneakers for myself in about 3 years, as I rarely EVER find the time for any sort of exercise. Or a pair of sneakers that practically comes with more letters in their name than the alphabet. My 13-year-old son, however, has quite the collection and, in his pack of friends, being a “sneaker-head” is the coolest. His current collection has accumulated, not by the generosity of his single mom, but from birthdays, “Santa”, his ever spoiling grandmother and doting aunt. Mom, struggling to make sure he has braces, has little left over for the luxuries that most kids wish for.
What struck me about this “incident” is the fact of how easy it was for my 13-year-old to bid, purchase and set up for shipping for a $200 pair of sneakers. AND bill it to my PayPal account!! All done on the little black piece of metal that is forever in his hands – his cell phone. Technology today is just too easy. Too easy to surf, post, blog, chat, tag . . . and buy sneakers. I am constantly worried and aware of what my son may or may not be getting into. His friends think I am overprotective, a “stalker” on Instagram and the mom who calls them if I don’t get an immediate response by text. In today’s world, I have to be. I am the single mother doing this alone; it’s all me and all on my shoulders. I don’t have that other half and I can’t use the famed one-liner “wait until your father comes home!” And that’s okay. My son and I are navigating through this together. He is getting accustomed to the rules and regulations that Stalker Mom is putting forth. Cell phone needs to be handed in before bed, and he does, reluctantly I might add. Smart Limits are set up so as not to run over his allotted data usage. I look at his texts, require his passwords, talk to his friends, read endless Instagram comments and try to decipher too many slang text message abbreviations. I mean – I just found out what SMH stands for, LOL.
So what’s the point of this story . . . it’s not easy having a teenager today. Monitoring our children’s internet usage is a must, to keep them safe from whatever may be lurking. There is an entire world at their fingertips and teaching them to be responsible on the internet is something every parent should do.
This story does have a happy ending. My son was lucky because, once I messaged the eBay seller who unknowingly sold that $200 pair of sneakers to my 13-year-old son and explained the financial situation of this single mom, he refunded me. Yes, there are still good people out there. Even in the age of the internet where we are consistently warned of hackers and predators, there are still good people out there. Now I just need to change all my passwords. LOL
Written By: Tara Raucci