Now that Riverdale teens have proven they can survive two days without Facebook or text messaging, one New Jersey principal wants to push the kids even further, and is asking parents to ban texting, Facebook and something called Formspring from their homes. He sent a message to parents urging them to install parental control software to help monitor and curb new Facebook trends like "cyber-bullying," which just sounds like something out of Tron. (Screening tonight!)
The fastest way to revolution is to take back a privilege that has already been entrenched in the culture, and this is what some Ridgewood parents may be facing. Eighth grader Ali Feinberg told WCBS she is "addicted" to Facebook and frequently checks the site at school on the iPhone her parents most likely pay for, and argues, "I'm not going to do anything bad, so why should I get rid of it?" However, principal Anthony Orsini of Benjamin Franklin Middle School argues the already emotional landscape of middle school is amplified through social networking and texting (or sexting), and tells parents in a memo, "There is absolutely, positively no reason for any middle school student to be a part of a social networking site! None."
Apparently five out of eight parents in the school were completely unaware their children even had Facebook accounts, much less were posting anything inappropriate. So for any New York parents looking to make sure their children aren't being cyber-bullied, Orsini suggests sitting them down and telling them you'll be checking all their text messages online, installing parental control software, taking away the computer in their room and taking their phones at night, saying "Remember when you were in high school and you would sneak the phone into your bedroom at midnight to talk to you girlfriend or boyfriend all night—now imagine what they can do with the technology in their rooms." Actually, they're just staying up all night planning the revolution.