The old standbys - under the bed, in the drawer, in their rooms - those places are just that: old. Remember passing notes in the hallway, saying where the next party is? It all happens through technology now.
“It can spread so much faster through Facebook. It’s not a note that has to be passed through multiple classes that could be caught by a teacher halfway through,” says 17-year-old Keira McGrath. But texting and Facebook is all in a language parents just don’t understand.
Teen code words:
PIR - Parents In Room
POS - Parent Over Shoulder
MOS - Mom Over Shoulder
When it comes to alcohol, that water bottle could be a hiding place too. And there are other code names you should know: Handle - 1.75 liter bottle of alcohol
Four smart kids, honor students, gave us a lesson in a new world that allows kids to hide so much more from their parents.
“You have Facebook and stuff, and there’s so many different ways to hide it. You can’t really catch anything in writing anymore. You can just delete things so it’s not permanently there,” says 17-year-old Victoria Tansey. Teens talk about where the next party is, where they are hooking up, and who’s getting the alcohol.
These students say kids are talking about sex, hooking up, and partying, all through Facebook and texting. If they don’t want people to see it, they do it through an inbox message on Facebook, away from their wall.
“That’s how we figured out where our after-prom party was. We had an inbox going with everyone that was going, so everyone could see what each other were writing,” says Jillian Morong, 17. Everyone, that is, but their parents.
Even if you’re their friend on Facebook, trying to see what your kids are doing isn’t easy. “With the internet you can hide anything you want. I mean there’s privacy settings and everything, and on the Facebook chat, you can make certain lists of people that you don’t want to talk, so they can’t even see if you’re online,” says 18-year-old D.J. Plunkett.
“Kids have always hidden things from their parents, it’s just kids are much better at doing it these days, because right now they can transmit messages to each other knowing little codes, and they can do it right in front of their parents, and their parents wouldn’t know,” says Patrick O’Malley, @617Patrick, a social media expert.
We spoke to mom Melina Tansey, who says she “creeps” on her kids’ Facebook pages. “Basically, I check it out of concern, to make sure she’s doing the right thing.”
“The agreement was that I will allow you to have facebook, but I’ll have an account and I will be your first friend and if you don’t friend me, then you don’t have a Facebook. And they agreed to it, which made me feel good,” mom Debbi Plunkett says.
It’s a two-way street; just make sure you’re driving. “You want to be trusted by your parents, so you want them to have trust in you. Oh yeah, there’s a party going on, but I’m going to make the right decision not to go. I feel like they should have the trust that you could go up and talk to them rather than they have to sneak around and find that information out,” Victoria Tansey said.