NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

January 15, 2014

Parent Pill: Not so easy to unplug

Edward Snowden could learn a few things if he lived in my house. Leaking sensitive information is a fine art form within these four walls, and my daughters have become the supreme masterminds behind this emerging form of perpetual invasion. It’s like Big Brother meets Twisted Sisters — and the sisters are winning hands down.

Let me explain.

When I am emerging from the shower and walking half-naked through the upstairs hallway, I can wave to my daughter’s friend on Skype. First thing in the morning, when I am looking like a raccoon who spent the night in a heap of trash, I can convey a jolly “Top of the Morning!” to the neighbor on FaceTime. And when I am having a heated discussion (in which I am laying out all the reasons I am right) with my husband, I can be certain that someone is on speaker phone studying with my daughter for tomorrow’s history quiz, and perhaps taking notes on the art of marital discord.

Either way, it has created the need for a “no electronics” curfew in our home. There are just too many points of access, too many ways I can embarrass myself in a place that is supposed to be sacred. This is a place of refuge, a sanctuary, a shelter from all that is evil — like Snapchat and Vine and anything with video capabilities that allow people to secretly film someone. That might be the absolute most devious form of malicious behavior. Especially when the person is a middle-aged woman who is singing and wildly gesturing to a Kesha song. Who knew such a video could get 83 likes? Maybe it’s my striking good looks or unique interpretation of the lyrics. But I’m pretty sure it was the dance moves.

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