Teens and their privacy

danah boyd talked to many different teens. She said teens rather be out hanging out with their friends rather than sitting on their computer. It’s that teens spend their countless hours on social media when they can’t be with their friends, not because they rather spend their time starring at a screen. They would rather connect off-screen, but parents don’t see it this way.

“Although many adults believe that they have the right to consume any teen content that is functionally accessible, many teens disagree.” (pg. 58)

Not only parents, but adults in general, feel the need to see what kids are posting on social media. An example of this is when boyd interviewed a fifteen year old student. The student was annoyed that her teachers would go on her Facebook page to see what she was doing. The student made it clear that she would never go on her teachers Facebook page, so why would they go on hers? She felt it was a violation of her privacy, and it is.

Teens need their own privacy. When their parents were young, they were free to go out at night and be home before dark. They had a lot of their own privacy. The difference is that it wasn’t online. Now, they tell their kids they can’t go out and be home before dark because of how dangerous it is to go out, so then their kids go on social media. And when they do, their parents want to see whatever they are posting, giving them no privacy at all.

“Yet, for the teens that I interviewed, privacy isn’t necessarily something that they have; rather it is something they are actively and continuously trying to achieve in spite of structural or social barriers that make it difficult to do so.” (pg 60)

Teens want their on space to be themselves, and nowadays that is online. I believe it is important for parents to let their children have their on space. It is important for their kids to learn for themselves and grow. If a parent is keeping them from being acting as a teenager or getting on them for little things they do online, they won’t learn themselves what they believe to be wrong or right.

I do believe that there is a time that parents need to check in on their kids. I think it is important to know what kind of people their kids are friends with and if they are being safe online. This video is a mom saying how she wants her kid to have privacy, but there is also a time to “snoop.”

It seems that there is this constant curiosity from adults to see what kids are posting online these days. But why? To keep talking about how teens are “out of control” or “addicted to social media”? Maybe adults give teens a hard time because they didn’t grow up with technology, so they see it in a different perspective.

However, I think adults need to give teens a break. It is not our fault we grew up with technology.



Author: Brittany Walls

I am currently a student at the University of Delaware studying English, but eventually want to be a nurse.

3 thoughts on “Teens and their privacy”

  1. Brittany, Clearly the woman in the video is not singing in the same choir as boyd! I’d like to hear more about how you understand their differences. ~Joe


  2. I think it’s really interesting this dynamic between parents and their kids in regards to the internet. I remember as a kid having a code on AIM when talking to someone: pos which meant parent-over-shoulder. If’s funny how kids evolve to the internet and still find ways to get around their parent’s nosiness. I think it’s a difficult call to make, because there are a ton of threats the internet poses, and parents have a natural inclination to worry. But they do need to exercise giving their child a type of trust so they feel confident to make the right decisions.


  3. At first, the woman in the video mentions how teens need their own space to do their teenage things, which is absolutely correct. And then she talks about how parents have the right to “snoop” on their kids if they think there is a problem.
    How I see this is if a parent thinks there is an absolute horrible thing happening with your child, and you KNOW, it’s on social media, then they have the right to talk to their child and maybe see their social media. If your child is in danger, I think it’s right. But also, a parent can’t look through their child’s accounts because they are doing something “they don’t want them to do.” That isn’t fair, a child is going to do something whether their parent wants them to or not. Also, the word “snoop” isn’t the greatest word. I can also see parents saying “oh this is a problem! I need to go through my teen’s stuff!” When really, it’s not a problem at all. They just want an excuse.


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