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They Shoot Facebook Posts, Don't They?

I can't stop watching this video... I am 50% horrified and 50% think it's kind of awesome.   To sum up: A video has gone viral of a parent’s rant about the laziness of his daughter (who stands accused of spending all of her time on the computer and never doing her chores).  The daughter apparently posted a profanity-laced complaint about her parents, and the chores they make her do, on her Facebook page.  

After a long rant about how things were different when HE was a boy and how his daughter has it so easy (which sounded eerily familiar to me and, I suspect, to anyone who has a dad), the dad takes a .45 to his 15-year-old's computer... firing several rounds into it and then demanding she reimburse him for the bullets.   The video has been called: “Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen.”  The dad uploaded it to YouTube and it’s been viewed nearly 4 million times.  (by the way, watching a computer get shot is kind of thrilling)

So many mixed feelings about dad, here.  Obviously, a controversial parenting technique... also, I feel like it all comes unfairly down on the laptop (LAPTOPS don't make snotty Facebook posts, people make snotty Facebook posts...) and using firearms in parental situations is probably a "no", even for the most rabid tiger parents.  Still, there is clearly a real issue at the heart of the madness: How to parents control their kids' use of technology.

I have no children, but the idea of dealing with a child's smartphone/Facebook presence is daunting.  Kids are clever at sneaking around barriers... plus, aren't they always way more tech savvy than their parents (by natural law)?  And I would want to protect my kid from posting stupid things that would be exhumed at job interviews years later (not that accounting firms can't appreciate a good keg-stand) as well as some of the viciousness that comes out in interactions on Facebook etc (playground 2.0).

Apparently, decoy Facebook pages and parent blocking tactics are the norm, as are a variety of other workarounds.  In this case, the 15-year-old HAD blocked her parents' ability to few her Facebook post.  The dad found it because his daughter had forgotten to block the family dog (apparently even DOGS HAVE FACEBOOK PAGES NOW??) .  Dogs are a parent's best friend.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

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