I caught CNET Editor at Large Brian Cooley on the CBS Evening News report last night, "The Secret Lives of Teens." In the second installment of this three-parter, which featured a tug-of-war between a daughter and her mother concerned about her risky online behavior, Cooley observed that, "This is just the return of the Cold War, with different players. Instead of the U.S. and Russia, it's Mom and Dad versus Joey and Bill." Cooley talked about parental control technology but added that, "In the end, this points back to the parenting relationship, and it moves away from technology when you really have to make a difference in their lives...you cannot rely on software."
I agree with Cooley's conclusion. Online safety for teens is a complex issue that cannot be covered in one blog post, but the CBS Evening News series gave me a lot of food for thought. They posed the question, is parental spying on teen Internet use an "invasion of privacy or smart parenting?" and I wish the CBS series had given more consideration to the possibility that digital spying is a misguided parenting practice.… Read more