Writing Questions: Invasion of Privacy, When is it Considered Bad Form?

On Thursday, I posted about the Meanest Mom in the World. Yesterday, I posted about how I’m trying to catch up with technology. One of the things I was curious about, was the appeal of IMing. Check out the comments about it.

Today, this leads me to a totally different question. I’ve wondered about this one for awhile and am now going to put it out there to see what you all think. Put your teenager hat on, your parent hat on, your arguing for the sake of arguing hat on, your how could you hat on, or whatever you want to. I’d really be curious to hear it all, for the sake of research.

Here’s the scene:
Mom finds out from reading her sixth grader’s IM messages from her cell phone, that her daughter-A, has a boyfriend. A’s boyfriend-M, wants A to go over to his house after school during one of the early dismissals. M writes to A, “Nobody else will be home.”

Here’s the problem:
Mom snooped. Plain and simple. But, her daughter, A, might be going to boyfriend’s empty house, doing who know’s what.

More on Problem:
When I was growing up, teenagers had diaries, journals, letters or notes that any Mom around the world could be able able to read if they dared to violate their child’s trust to find out what was going on.

Today’s teen doesn’t need a simple lock on their diary anymore. Nowadays, teens have at their fingertips an assortment of technologically savvy tricks to get around Mom and Dad. There are passwords. There are spycams. Secret identities on the web. And more that I haven’t mentioned and probably don’t know about.

I can only imagine, teens will find more interesting ways to hide secrets from their parents as the technology advances.

Here are the questions:
1. Is this bit of invasion of privacy considered bad form?
2. Why?
3. If not, when is the invasion of privacy considered going over the line?
4. How should Mom deal with A, so the trust isn’t completely broken off?
5. What will A do to hide things from Mom in the future?

Put your teenager hat on, your parent hat on, your arguing for the sake of arguing hat on, your how could you hat on, or whatever you want to. I’d really be curious to hear it all, for the sake of research. (Edited to add: I have a scene in a manuscript I’ve had difficulty trying to figure out the outcome. So I’d so appreciate your help on this one.) No judgements will be made here. All I ask is to keep this conversation respectful. Thank you!

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Vivian Lee Mahoney

Consider yourself warned: I write books about rebels. I'm also a postergirlz for readergirlz, a literary advisory group for teens. Who knew going back to the teenage years would be so rewarding?

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