SocialShield Lets You Spy On Your Kids In The Name Of Parenting

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If you’ve ever contemplated hacking your kid’s Facebook or Twitter, don’t bother. A new program called SocialShield gives you a 360-degree view of their every interaction complete with alerts and weekly emails. Instead of speaking to your social media savvy little ones directly about online predators and how to defend themselves in sketchy situations, you can do it for them.

SocialShield boasts that its monitoring service provides a complete picture of your children’s online social life. The software combs their posts and the posts of their friends for certain key terms relating to sex, violence, fighting, and bullying which then sends you alerts. These alerts can be assigned to specific friends that your child interacts with and saved for “your records.” You can also check a score that SocialShield manufactures everyday assessing your child’s safety. The color changes too just like those old terror alerts that we used to have, so as your kid’s score hovers closer to red you can freak out more.

This young lady only has five out of ten:

What’s problematic about SocialShield and the way they go about presenting this type of access to your child’s social life is that there’s no emphasis on the child’s participation. SocialShield maintains that only you as the parent can know when something inappropriate is happening and that your children are just utterly defenseless because they’re children.

The recent news headlines of teen suicide rightfully have many parents wringing their hands over this “secret world” of online bullying, but the truth is that children who can fend for themselves in the locker room can also hold their own on their Facebook account.

Teaching children to know when to delete “friends” and recognize inappropriate advances is part of raising self-sufficient and self-aware kids. Maintaining a communicative relationship  is also important so that when they feel that they’re in over their head, they can come to you for help.

SocialShield doesn’t uphold any of these principals because it eradicates trust. This approach to observing your child’s online interactions encourages parents to maintain a “big brother” relationship in which children don’t feel comfortable talking to you because you’re literally analyzing their every move.