‘Teenie one is a Facebook addict!’

Karen is a mum of mixed sex, 14-year-old twins. And knows it. Each week she shares with us what her terrible two have been up to.  

‘Teenie one is a Facebook addict with a Twitter obsession and a texting compulsion. She has also got so many privacy settings on her wall that it is virtually impossible for her nosey mother to have a good snoop. Teenie two on the other hand is a bit dim and often leaves his Facebook open for me to have a good look.

A lot of it is boring, inane teenage drivel, there’s plenty of obscenity and some highly inappropriate links – one pornographic image of a Justin Bieber look-a-like was particularly disturbing – but on the whole it’s just pretty dull and disappointing.

However, as I scroll down the hundreds of friends on my daughter’s friends list, trying to identify the paedophile in the bunch, what strikes me most is that there’s a common theme to the girls’ profile pictures. They are almost identical and all show the girls dolled up to the nines with back combed hair, skimpy clothes and ridiculous page three girl pouts. This seems to be the obligatory look for all 14-16 year olds.

Now I know that parents aren’t supposed to approve of the way their kids dress but this isn’t just about clothes it goes far deeper. Surely this desire to publish images of themselves pouting and posing in an overtly sexual manner is a disturbing trend. When I was a teenager in the 80s we all wanted to look outlandish and odd but we didn’t want to look sexually available. So why do our bright young things all want to look like glamour models? I blame so many things… Playboy, Katie Price, Big Brother, Towie… The list is endless.

It all confuses and concerns me. I had hoped my own daughter had more sense but oh no, low and behold, last time I snooped she’s changed her picture to some ridiculous image in which she’s pursing her lips and sucking in her cheeks like she’s choking on a lemon. I decide that ridicule is the best approach and try to embarrass her into changing it by getting twin brother to take the mickey out of her. It’s a harsh strategy and one in which I don’t hold out much hope of success. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about teenagers it is that their desire to fit in overrides all else. Let’s hope it’s just another thing my granny would have said was ‘just a phase‘.’

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