It doesn’t matter if you’re conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat, city-dweller or country living, I’m pretty sure every parent on the planet is nervous about their children on social media. It’s just such a big and complex world for your child to be interacting with. We’ve all heard the bullying horror stories. We remember the girls sexualized too early. Facebook might have revolutionized the way we communicate, but it also puts fear in the hearts of parents all over the globe. In fact, it reaches all the way into the White House, where President Barack Obama is dreading the day that his little Malia will create her first profile.
Presidents, they’re just like us!
Obama was doing an interview with Sway Calloway on MTV when he was asked which scenario is scariest: his daughter dating, his daughter driving, or his daughter joining Facebook?
Personally, I might have picked dating first. After all, I have a feeling that this suggestion will come up sooner rather than later from my own little girl. But as Obama pointed out, at least for the moment, his little girls have Secret Service to escort them on any romantic evenings out holding hands in a movie theater. One thing is for sure, it will take a brave man to date the President’s daughter. Obama said he hopes his daughters find “boys who respect them and value them and understand their worth.”
However, boys weren’t the main concern for the President. His focus was on social media. “I’d worry about Facebook right now, ” he said. “I know the folks at Facebook obviously they’ve revolutionized, you know, the social networks. But Malia, because she’s well known, I’m very keen on her protecting her privacy. She can make her own decisions obviously later as she gets older, but right now, even just for security reasons, she doesn’t have a Facebook page.”
I think it makes perfect sense, especially given his daughters’ notoriety, that the President is most concerned about their privacy. We tend to forget that the information on social media can go anywhere, mostly because no one is dying to over-analyze every status update we share about our family’s vacation plans or our favorite TV shows. The daughters of the President represent a whole didn’t type of online presence. There will always be someone trolling their pages, hoping to find out some type of juicy detail.
But even without all the additional worry, I think most parents of teenagers can agree that the hours kids spend shut up in their room playing around on the computer are a little terrifying. We don’t know what they’re doing or who they’re chatting with. We don’t want to go overboard monitoring their activity but we don’t want to miss potentially troublesome or dangerous information sharing. I can completely understand why any parent, including a parent, would want to put that type of stress off for as long as possible.
Someday, Malia will join the internet age. And like every parent of a teenager in the country, Barack Obama will stalk her page for a while, worry over every posted inside joke, and spend plenty of time trying to decode his teen’s lingo. Don’t worry, Mr. President. We’ve all been there. And we’ll all be okay.
(Photo: Carrie Devorah / WENN)