I can only imagine the heart pounding fear of "What have I done?!" if something like that happened here. Really. It's nightmare material for me.
When I write, I write for me. It's my space to vent, share, laugh and cry. I feel I "own" my posts. I have often written a post about a subject that I'm passionate about and can only imagine the feelings I would have if I was bombarded with judgemental comments.
Beth responds this way. I don't know Beth any better than I know Mrs. Hall. What I know is this: we are all women who love our children.
I read Mrs. Hall's post to my three still at home children last night. 15 years, 9 years and 6 years. The youngest two are boys. Our 15 year old doesn't have a facebook account... yet. That's how crazy old-fashioned we are! My DH and I are friends with her friends and we keep up to date that way. We like it like that. Since our oldest two were in high school back in 2004, we have been friends with their friends.
What our conversation led to last night was simply, it's a two lane road. Mrs. Hall wasn't telling me that if my girls put up any pictures of themselves in a swimsuit that they would be blocked. I like the "appropriate meter" to be, "You are friends with your NANA! Do NOT put anything on there that would make her uncomfortable." So far, it's worked pretty well. They haven't all become friends with my Mom. That's okay, it's a choice. Somethings really shouldn't been seen by everyone... err, anyone.
I refuse to think of what others might think of this post because that isn't how I write. I'm writing to my family & friends here.
I feel I'm all over the board. That's because my mind has so many thoughts I can't type fast enough to keep up with myself!
Let's try this:
1) I'm so glad there wasn't facebook when I was young. Or any social media source where I could show off my goods. Because I'm sure I would have. I thought I was so cute. I didn't think I was a beautiful daughter of the King!
2) What if... what if there had been facebook? I hope that when I posted sensual, sexual pictures of myself (because that was Mrs. Hall's issue) that a loving adult, not related to me, would have said stop. Or else. Or else their son(s) and I wouldn't be able to remain friends on facebook. Or else, my posts would be blocked until I stopped posting photos trying to entice people to notice me that way.
3) What if... what if I knew that the parents of my friends were looking at my pictures? I know I would be uncomfortable around them in person. I know I would avoid eye-contact. Why? Because I know it's wrong!
4) What if all it took for me to stop posting "those kinds of pictures" was knowing that Mr. and Mrs. Hall were looking at them?
Do I agree with everything Mrs. Hall said? Or Beth? Of course, not. I'm me, after all.
I agree that:
1) We need to hold people accountable for their actions.
2) We need to discuss as a family what we are going to tolerate and what we aren't.
3) Setting boundaries is important.
4) Love and grace play a huge role in how to handle these situations.
5) Maybe "no second chances" is a bit harsh for me but I'm all for drawing the line in the sand and sticking to it. I think a loving private message the first time letting them know that if they continue to post these kinds of pictures that their posts would be blocked.
6) I needed more chances that one can count as a teen and young adult. I need more chances than I can count today. I need to know that forgiveness is there.
7) There are differences in types of pictures and perhaps those differences differ between families. What I might find acceptable another wouldn't. What I consider modest another immodest.
Mexico 2008: snorkeling/boat ride
I enjoy posting and seeing beach, pool and water park pictures. Swimming in the lake, diving off the boat or dock... Fun pictures. I can tell a difference when a girl is having fun with her friends in their swimsuits and one who is intentionally posing in provocative sensual ways. I can tell when boys are messing around on the boat and the one who is flexing and posing in a way to lure the female eye.
Our closing conversation last night was, "It's a two-way road." We all need to be aware of what we are doing because someone is always watching. Boy or girl, man or woman, prince or princess, we need to remember to do our best to bring glory to God and when we mess up; admit it, change the behavior and move on."
Praise Jesus we Americans still live in a country where we can decide what we allow our children to see "on our watch" and take whatever measures we deem necessary and appropriate for us.