I don’t know if you’ve seen the FYI post telling teenage girls to be more modest with their pics on Facebook, but I had multiple layers of reaction to it.
First, I agree that this mom is checking her sons’ devices and being involved in their digital lives. I agree that she wants her sons to be friends with girls who live the same moral standards as she wants her sons to live. I have two teenage boys–I get it.
I also agree that the girls need to be more aware of their images. I don’t agree that it is the responsibility of the girls alone to keep Facebook clean. I think that boys have a lot to do with it.
The final fragment from this post that lingers with me is that this mom has her sons delete these girls as Facebook friends. I worked with girls in a therapeutic environment for many years, and the last thing any of us should be doing is ignoring them when they are posting signs of depression and emotional strife. I have told my boys that when they have a friend who starts posting inappropriate or uncomfortable pictures, that we need to ask what’s going on with that person. Did something happen? How is it at home? Are their parents/family paying attention to these signs of struggle? Can we do something for them?
I wrote this poem this morning from the perspective of a girl who posted a fish lips selfie. It may seem dramatic, but I know from working with these girls that it’s also real. Take action. Some of these girls, and boys, who are our kids’ friends on Facebook need your hep in this world of emotional survival. It might even be your own kid–wouldn’t you want someone to say something to you?
I didn’t know at first why
but now I’ve seen your FYI.
I know I’ve changed
trying to keep up with the sharks in the fishbowl,
flashing their fins for a selfie
and I thought that if I could
be sleek enough for you,
you’d smile at me, too.
Now I’m lost somewhere in the consequence
trying to climb out of
my sinking bag of tricks,
but the current pulls me down,
lost in the rules I didn’t know
of this game the fishies play.
I’ve changed my status
since that day–
I got caught up in the wave
but you won’t know
until someone posts a comment
Because instead of being saved
I was deleted.