Thousands of young women have posted drunken photos of
themselves on a social network site for all the world to see.
Familiar with Girls Gone Wild? Welcome to Girls Gone Wired. A Facebook user group called "30 Reasons Girls Should Call It a Night" contains thousands of photos of intoxicated young women in various stages of undress.
In this age of social-networking and reality television, many girls are comfortable posting images of themselves on the Internet. It's no wonder, really. After all, they've had video cameras in their faces since they were born. (First steps? Check. First poop on the potty? Check. And so on.) "This generation is conditioned to love the spotlight," says family counselor and friend of Mom•Logic Rosanne Tobey, L.P.C. "And this phenomenon is just an extension of that."
What's a Mom of a teen or tween to do? According to Tobey, most teens don't have the capacity to truly understand how far-reaching the Internet really is (i.e. that anyone can see the photos they're posting) or what the implications of posting these sorts of images could have on their lives (i.e. future college admissions counselors look at social networks, too). That's why Tobey recommends Moms search kids' computers and online profiles for questionable images or content. If your kids protest this "lack of privacy," remind them that there is no privacy on the Internet—that's the point.
If your daughter (or son) has already left for college, you can still help them make positive choices. Tobey recommends you use the following script: "I know you're independent and capable of making your own decisions, and I'm very proud of you. I ran across this article today about this Facebook page called '30 Reasons Girls Should Call It a Night,' and I decided to check it out. Have you heard about it?" Create a dialogue with your daughter instead of lecturing her and putting her on the defensive. "Since she's out on her own now," Tobey says, "She needs your advice and protection more than ever."