U-tube, u-rule

In a world drowning in useless celebrity gossip, it’s always nice to find something useful in all that garbage to apply to everyday life. Take this little nugget:

“Can you imagine being 22 and having your parents know everything about you?” says Lauren Conrad of the TV show “The Hills.” “Literally, my mom can go on the Internet and find out where I went last night, who I was with. I mean, there are no secrets!”

Indeed. Earlier this summer, Girl from the West went away for a month as part of a musical ensemble. While she was gone I received a few e-mails that detailed some things about the host families with whom she was staying, a few random pictures of historic buildings, and kids in uniforms posed all sweet and proper in front of water fountains.
But I was dying to know: What really happened?
Once she returned, we received little in the way of trip summaries, observations or gossip.
We took advantage of jet lag to get her to show us her digital pictures (pre-edit, like I said “jet lag”). But once she was coherent, the lips were zipped and the files were deleted.
The most intriguing piece of news we gathered was that in all of Western Europe, there is not one jar of peanut butter.
Well that certainly justified the $5K price tag for her adventure.

I compared notes with other parents; they all said the same thing.

Recognizing my frustration, one Internet-savvy parent suggested I check Youtube for further details.
Lo and behold, after typing in the necessary search terms, I was suddenly staring at buried treasure. There were numerous concert clips, jam sessions and a few odd things I’m not sure what to make of. Nothing risque or awful, to be sure. But still …
This got me thinking. Youtube has changed everything. The Internet in general has changed everything, thanks to Al Gore, we all know this.
All this sharing of the good, the bad, and the ugly of today’s teens may make them more accessible to one another,  but it also leaves a pretty nice electronic paper trail for moms and dads who want to know: what’s my little girl/boy up to when he/she is out of the house?

So, moms and dads, check it out. Navigate your way around Youtube for some field research on your kids. It helps to know some of their nicknames, slang and code words for things, since much of it will not be listed under actual names and places. But then again, it never hurts to try.

For once, I’m glad I’m not any younger.

3 thoughts on “U-tube, u-rule

  1. wow. interesting. never thought of it that way, but i’m not sure whether i’m thrilled or shuddering at my currently 9-yr-old’s potential online antics. of course, as my parents read my blog; and as i often describe things from my youth there; i suspect they, too, are experiencing that delayed joy of finding out what i was up to. which wasn’t always fabulous, admittedly 😉

  2. Needless to say, Girl from the West isn’t thrilled that I found this stuff. You’d think I read her diary or something!

  3. so important for parents to stay tuned to facebook and Youtube, for the sake of the children, OF COURSE! My boys are now 21, 18 and 12 and yes I have been checking their web pages for years. They have been generally tame. I always tell them that anyone can get access to their sites, Mrs. K., Mrs. B (friends’ mothers) future schools, future employers, etc. It’s not spying if it’s available to the rest of the world.
    Also a good idea for children to surrender cell phones to parents at night. Of course this is easier to do when you first give them the phone. HS kids get together in the middle of the night and have parties while the parents are sleeping upstairs.
    cue the music: Aladdin’s “whole new world” …

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