A study found out that thousands of parents log on to social networking websites to find out what their children are up to. About 55 per cent of mothers and fathers in Britain thought snooping around on their children’s profiles to see what they are doing is not a bad idea.
Conducted by computing company Bullguard Internet Security, the study revealed that parents did it to avoid having ‘awkward conversations’ with children. Whereas, nearly a quarter admitted that it was the only way they could find out about their kids’ lives. The figures indicate that parents are becoming crafty in order to keep tabs on their children in the digital age. Almost one every 20 mothers and fathers even log on with a friend’s account to avoid detection and gain better access to their children’s profiles.
Websites like Facebook and MySpace, along with microblogging site Twitter, have become quite popular among children and youngsters. The study also revealed that while 55 per cent of parents said they did spy on their children, 40 per cent said they did not. The rest said they would do so if they knew how to. Around 41 per cent said they monitor their children’s status updates and 39 per cent look at their ‘wall’— which is where they and friends write messages. Just under one third — 29 per cent — took a look at pictures their children had uploaded.
Relatives and kin in countries like Pakistan, help parents to keep a track of their children’s activities on social forums. Mothers especially, often urge relatives to keep a check on their kids and update them as soon as an unacceptable activity is recorded on the social networking site. Mehnaz, a mother of three says, “I ask my sister to check my daughter’s account almost regularly, since I’m not on Facebook to keep an eye on her”.
It has been concluded that due to the rising trend of cyber crime, parents want to at least have an idea of what kind of people and places their children interact with.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2011.