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Miss Misanthropist

Writing With Myself

Dear Tumblr: Children are not "mini-adults"

Millenials, Opinions/Advice, Social Media, TumblrMonica EdwardsComment

Every so often I will be scrolling through tumblr and find some kind of post on ageism or what is and isn't child abuse. 99% of the time it's the most bullshit argument you will ever hear. Including this one that I'm about to share with you. This is a real post (Source). This is also a list of everything wrong with that post going point by point. 

hey parents: there is literally no non-abusive reason a person would want the ability to read someone’s emails, track their location, and go through their calls and text messages without their knowledge or consent.

Actually there is. There's a lot of them. Lets start with the fact that you are a minor, you aren't that smart, you live in your parents' home...I don't know maybe those are all valid reasons? Also they seriously use the terminology "would want the ability". Want. So even if the parent merely wants this ability (and doesn't act on it) is that abuse too? Because there's a difference between merely wanting something and acting on it. As in: I really want Bryan Fuller to be hit by a truck. This is far different from me actively renting a truck, finding where that asshole lives, and running him over. Which I wouldn't do. Fantasies and desires really don't equate to urges and actions. Even if we ignore that, I suppose that in most cases (not all) parents would want to know what their kid is doing on the internet for the protection of their child. Obviously there are some overly protective, annoying, and yes, actually abusive parents, but these are probably not the types of parent a kid like this is posting about. 

As I've discussed before, when I've said that the internet is a not a babysitter, there's a reason for that. A ton of them. I won't go into that entire argument because, well it's already written out. You can read about it here. I will just summarize. The summary being that a lot of tragedies (especially as of late with teens) could have been prevented had parents either paid more attention to what their kid was doing online or took actions to protect their kids from things on the internet. 

We aren't talking about even high level protection and shit. We are talking about basic monitoring. Every so often look at their internet history. Every so often skim their blog (if they have one) or watch their youtube channel (if they have one). I'm not advocating sitting on all of their social media sites analyzing every fucking post they make, but seriously? Why is everyone all about internet privacy rights for 12 year olds?

In fact, just recently a girl from tumblr repeatedly posted on her blog about going to school and stabbing people, and then went to school and stabbed a bunch of people. Had her parents glanced at her blog for like 5 seconds maybe they'd have seen this shit. I mean literally 5 seconds (at the time that's how long it took to find the posts of her saying this but I believe a lot of it has been removed due to tumblr being tumblr). Now this post gets more laughable than what was already stated. 

The person comes back because I guess a bunch of people were asking "What if kid is missing". Their solution? "Google trusted contacts". Here is there explanation of this:

...what this does is allow you to set up a list of people who are able to request your location. when they do so, you have five minutes to either refuse or grant the request. if you don’t respond within five minutes, the request is automatically accepted, in case you’re hurt or otherwise unable to get to your phone. your trusted contacts can also see how recently you used your device.

in other words: if someone genuinely wants to know if you’re okay, they can check the app and see that you’ve used your phone five minutes ago, and that can be the end of it. if they want to be doubly sure, or it says you haven’t used your phone recently, they can request your location.

Other than the fact that there are a lot of issues with this, this type of system is easily fucking cheated. Nor does it prove your kid isn't in danger or isn't in trouble. Say, for instance, little Timmy decides that he is going to meet up with some guy from Craigslist who promises to sell him a new XBox for 20 dollars. Well, his parents already told him he couldn't have an XBox because he was failing classes since he spends so much time being a little shit on Tumblr. To be more realistic this wouldn't be a Timmy this would probably be a female name like Britney and she probably wants something way less cool like, a genuine Prada bag. Whatever, you get the point. Kid A finds sweet deal on Craigslist for designer object they aren't allowed to have sold by Adult B who says they will meet them at Location X. 

Now, Kid A knows that, for one, they aren't allowed to have said item. They also know they can't say they are going to location X to pick up said item. So they say something like, "I'm going to the library" and leave. Do kids still go to the library? Possibly. Fine, mall, whatever you get my point they say they are going somewhere that they aren't supposed to go in order to pick up the item. At this point parents are like, "Hmmm wonder where my kid went? Hope they aren't going to pick up a shady ass item from some guy and actually went to the library" and they do this Google contact thing to alert the kid. They check the app and see, "Oh Kid A used their phone 5 minutes ago clearly THEY ARE FINE AND THERE IS NO REASON TO EVER WONDER IF THEY EVER WENT TO THE LIBRARY". Or, additionally they can request the location of the kid which very well may say library when the kid is behind the library trying to make a shady deal with a shady man.

The point is that literally none of this alerts the parents to the fact that their dumb kid went to meet with a stranger who could very likely be tricking them and intends to abduct them. To be fair, maybe they are just buying an item they aren't supposed to have as well and it's legit. The point is that neither of these things indicate to the parent that their child has just stepped into a potentially dangerous situation where they could be harmed. All it says is that their kid has used their phone at some point (recently) and/or they are in the general area of where they said they were going to be. 

You know what would tell the parent their kid was about to do something stupid and dangerous? I don't know, emails, text messages, their twitter account, things like that. However, tumblr children now believe that it is abusive for parents to want to check this. Once again, not saying parents should become super spies and never allow any privacy to their kids, but to claim that this is abusive is off the charts ridiculous. It's also something that they 100% believe is not just unfair but it's psychologically damaging and causes anxiety disorders and shit. Parents just wanting to know their kids are okay and not getting in trouble now causes legit psychological disorders according to them. Look at the post, that is seriously the conclusion they come to. They also throw in legal terminology which in no way applies to them because they are fucking children. Okay minors. They are not legal adults. As such, legal terminology as it applies to adults does not apply to them. 

This is an image they posted which they highlighted the words "abuse" and "invasion of privacy". First and foremost this book is literally about domestic abuse in relationships. As in, two adults in a relationship. Not the abuse of children of parents. Then they put to huge fucking arrows right next to invasion of privacy. Now there is a legal definition for this which is as follows:

Invasion of privacy is the intrusion into the personal life of another, without just cause, which can give the person whose privacy has been invaded a right to bring a lawsuit for damages against the person or entity that intruded.

So, ignoring that this is literally written by an adult for other adults, and really doesn't apply to a child/parent relationship, invasion of privacy is defined as it says above. A situation where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy. Where would you say that it isn't reasonable to expect 100% complete and total privacy? I don't know, maybe in your house with your parents when you are 14 years old? How about that? How about you not being a legal adult? How about laws that apply to adults not applying to you yet because you are 14? How about your parents not only having the right but also having the duty to protect you from stupid shit. Especially stupid shit that you can get into on the internet because you are 14 and also fucking stupid? 

The point, that I am trying to make is kids, actually believe this. They think that their parents checking in on what they do, even briefly, wanting to know who they are talking to, wanting to know what they say, all of that is abuse. Just that part of it. Just the small part of a parent that says "wow maybe I need to make sure my kid isn't being a little shit on the internet". 

Are there parents who legit use this invasion to an abusive level? Hells yes, however those parents aren't ONLY doing that. Those types of parents are also abusing their children in a multitude of other ways and only a small part of it is invading their privacy. I also don't mean to a level of "let me skim my kid's blog to make sure they aren't posting about wanting to shoot up their school". I mean to a level of severe monitoring. Following everything. Reading every post, demanding access to every email account, things like that. These are the types of parents that go into bedrooms and search through belongings, take shit without telling their kids, and are all around abusive. A parent wanting to check up on their kid in a casual curious manner (and actually doing it) is in no way being abusive. It's called being a parent.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, the tumblr mentality has taken over. Parents now, for some reason, believe it's a huge violation of their kids privacy to even glance at their internet history, let alone look at their blogs. When this mentality takes over you get places like tumblr, which teach kids that ageism is real, otherkin is real, and parents doing normal parental things is TRAUMATIZING ABUSE THAT WILL SCAR YOU FOR LIFE. This leaves us with the SJWs we see now, storming the streets and setting shit on fire because the candidate they didn't like was elected. This needs to stop. Parents, go out there and be fucking parents. Your kid is probably being a little shit on the internet right now, when it's no more safe for them this day and age than it was in the 90's when everyone was scared of internet predators.