Grounded for a Selfie

I’ve worked diligently to teach the children about Internet safety and digital footprints. We have a mantra; “Google never forgets.” I repeat this often. I monitor all social media accounts and have friends check the kids’ accounts too. I’d like to think my children are aware of the dangers of over sharing and keeping parts of their lives private.

I must not have driven this message home as I had intended. A few months ago, I grounded the teen from her phone for a selfie I saw on Instagram. I’m not sure exactly how she thought I wouldn’t see it or if she just forgot I would be checking — either way, her phone was disabled.

The rule she broke isn’t one of appropriate content; she broke a house rule. Just two days prior, I had a stern conversation and issued a warning about protecting the device I paid for. I require all phones to be housed in an Otterbox at all times. Both girls thought their phones would be cooler out of the case. We corrected and moved on.

Then, I checked the accounts and saw a selfie with no Otterbox. I’m disappointed she broke the rules. But, I was even more sad she told on herself through the Internet. I really thought she was smarter than that.

Do you have house rules about gadgets? What limits do you place on social media?

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