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Sorry – Wordfilled Wednesday

A select few of you may have seen this last week on Facebook. My daughter Lesli was being a typical teenager and forgot to think before posting comments on her wall. In between her two last posts we had at least two text messages, plus one phone call where she understood the potential consequences of her comments. As I  told Lesli during our phone call, just as the sarcastic statements were public the apology also needed to public. After all, we have seen many examples of celebrities embarrassed when rumors spread on Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.

  • Lesli College is boring :(  February 24 at 9:52am
  • Mom You were bored because you were stuck in cafeteria. Today you’re home with plenty to do! February 25 at 9:07am
  • Lesli mom, go away. get to class or something. February 25 at 9:08am
  • Mom I’m IN CLASS – computers! Don’t you wish you could be here today?! February 25 at 9:10am
  • Lesli THEN GET OFF FACEBOOK! and off of my status:) February 25 at 9:11am
  • Lesli I’m sorry that I spoke to you like that… February 25 at 1:15pm
  • Mom Apology accepted. In the future, don’t type what you wouldn’t say in person. Anyone who knows you,
    or me, knows you COULDN’T say that in person. February 25 at 1:19pm

If you met us you can imagine that this conversation would never happen in person. At the moment we were each behind our screens, Lesli thought I would understand her wit as banter. Any adult reading  the posts might have thought this was attitude. Even worse, if these posts had involved anyone besides me (such as between two teens), one of them could possibly be accused of harassment or cyberbullying.

If you’re reading this post, regardless of your age, please take a look at ConnectSafely, CyberBully411 and GetNetWise. All these sites have resources for parents and teens. As an added bonus, some very big names (such as Google and Verizon) have joined forces to create the first NetSafetyApp for smartphones. Please take a look at all the information and tools available at these sites. Better safe than sorry, right?

Let’s start a discussion .. do you think I did the right thing, asking for a public apology and then writing this post?

5 thoughts on “Sorry – Wordfilled Wednesday

  1. As much as Lesli probably hated it, I think you did the right thing. Too many people (not just teens) seem to lose any sense of discernment when online. I don’t think it’s intentional, but somehow not being face-to-face makes them behave in ways they wouldn’t otherwise. Maybe it’s the relative safety of being behind their screens or the casual nature of social media that clouds their judgment. But we really have to be careful to think of how our words will be interpreted. That’s a lesson everyone needs to learn.

  2. I think you did a great job handling the comment and asking for a public apology. This way others didn’t see the conversation and make it into something worse than what it was. This post was also needed because you’re spreading a very important message, about being careful with what we type online. I think internet etiquette should be addressed more often.

  3. Of course you did! She knows she can’t talk to you like that so why even write it? People tend to forget that what you write online is like saying it in real life. Respect for a parent should always be there, no matter where you are.

    Lesli is a sweet girl and I’m sure she just got carried away. Mistakes do happen. Happy Wednesday!

  4. Knowing Lesli, I’m sure she didn’t intend it to come out the way it sounded. As a mom, I know how we may be embarrassed at times by what a child say with accordance of how they are perceived by others, and in that case I agree you teach Leslie the 1-2-3 of perception…but reading the lines above, what I know Lesli’s relationship to you, there was no ill intention of what she said.

    Anyone listening to my daughter and me talk may wonder if we’re being nice to each other or not, but I’ve learned that I personally rather have my daughter express herself as herself to me, I enjoy it (except when I’m PMS’g, then she changes her speech a bit lol, but I know it’s not her, it’s me, after the PMS stage goes away)

    In any case, what I’m trying to say, is let Leslie express herself to you, with respect that you are her ‘mom’ not her ‘friend’, but also let her to know the difference of perception when it comes up to typing it on the Internet.

    …don’t go by my example lol cause my practice w/my daughter is different than yours lol … in any case we both love our kids dearly and that is what is IMPORTANT, the love you have for each other, like Lesli has for you 🙂

  5. We send kids off to school to study French, Spanish, German and other foreign languages. Online communication is no different, the nuances and rules of text based interactions must be taught if our kids are to avoid being misunderstood.

    Good for you, you’ve helped your child learn some important new skills & have hopefully helped her to double check before clicking that submit comment button in the future!

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