Privacy, please

Privacy, please

michael balderas

Here I am, watching Netflix in my bedroom as I do on a normal basis, and I realize I left my phone on the kitchen table. I walk out to find one of my parents, phone in hand, sneakily going through my text messages (as if they have a clue how to work the phone). A good parent’s job is to protect their children and have their best interest, and a parent may think that going through personal belongings is a good idea. But today, the act of being a sneaky, privacy-invading parent has gotten out of hand. According to Juggle Debates, 55% of readers said that they are strong believers in reading their kids’ text messages.

Calling all snoopy parents! This is not just a minor problem between you and your child. This is a political issue, people! I’m a firm believer that you parents have no business going through your kids’ private belongings. Snooping through your teenager’s phone, Facebook messages, a journal, internet history, etc., are possibly the most aggravating things a mom or dad can do. All of the things mentioned above are examples of private property, are they not? The 4th Amendment in our very own Bill of Rights guards against unreasonable searches and seizures. Therefore, you shouldn’t be able to snoop through our belongings without our consent.

Only a couple short decades ago, a teenager might have found their mom suspiciously skimming through their diary. What is in that diary? Every secret and detail about their life that has come about since the time they could write. Now that nearly every teenager in the nation has a cell phone, the secrets have transferred from a diary on paper to private text messages between friends.

Some parents may argue, however, that their kids’ business is their business. But it’s not. The thing that adults struggle to understand is that we, the very adapted-to-technology teens of America, are people too! Although we may be more immature than any other life form on the planet, we have those same undeniable rights that you, our “caring” parents do.

There are many controversies between teens and their parents when it comes to privacy. I believe the only valid solution to this issue is to give teenagers complete technological privacy. This goes out to all parents. When your kid spots you snooping through their phone, they feel like you don’t trust them. According to a Child Trends Research Brief, good relations between parents and adolescents lessen the likelihood that teens will exhibit problem behaviors. When you snoop through your kid’s belongings, you’re breaking trust in the relationship with their kid. This being said, trust being broken can result in even bigger consequences in the relationship.

As a fellow American teenager with two very protective parents, I know it is easy to have the urge to rebel against them when they lose my trust. So come on, parents. Go the easy way and simply don’t snoop! First, it’s just wrong. Second, it’ll save your relationship with your teen.

I suppose parents have the right to be curious about what their kids are posting and sending. But instead of risking your relationship, you can do something much simpler! Ask. You have the obvious right to ask your child who they’re texting and what they’re texting about.

This is just one thing I don’t understand about you, parents. You know your teen will be frustrated with you if they catch you snooping, and yet you still do it! According to a HubPages Parenting Skills column, as long as a kid lives at home with their parent(s), their business is their parents’ business. I find that this statement has its truths and faults. Indeed, when you live and take care of your kids, you should know what’s going on in their lives. But going through text or Facebook messages is invading some other person’s relationship with your child, not yours.

So do yourselves a favor, folks. I’m speaking for every teen in America that owns a cell phone or a Facebook (which I believe is most of us); finding a parent snooping is a major heart-sinker. So next time you see that fancy little iPhone on the table screaming “Read me! Read me! I have all the juicy information about your kid that you want to know,” save yourself a lot of time arguing with your kid and simply leave it alone.