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Privacy Settings on Facebook Only Go So Far

Perhaps you’ve already seen the YouTube video posted by a disappointed and clearly upset father after finding an obscenity laced tirade from his daughter posted on her Facebook page. In case you haven’t, I’m posting it here for you to check out:

So, he reads her Facebook post, clarifies a few points, explains why he is so upset, then proceeds to shoot nine holes in her laptop with his .45 automatic. Clearly, he is serious.

There are a few lessons to be learned here for parents, kids and social media managers.

1. Nothing you do on social media is absolutely private. This dad makes the point that although his daughter had gone to great lengths to hide the Facebook post from her parents he accessed her page, found the post and read it quite easily. Everyone should understand there are clear limitations to how ‘protected’ your status updates (Tweets, Connects, Shares, whatever) and can be.

2. Teenagers are not always the most tech savvy folks. We are all individuals and therefore we grasp, understand and learn new things at different rates. Don’t just assume you can or cannot learn a new skill based on how old you are. It all depends on how determined you are to learn.

3. Parents can use social media to get their messages across just as easily as their children do. This video has (so far) racked up more than 21 million views on YouTube and more than 230,000 “Likes” with less than 20,000 “Dislikes.” It has been viewed by people on every continent in the world except Antarctica. The message the dad in the video presents in fairly simple: My daughter continued to be disrespectful despite repeated warnings; is ungrateful and undeserving of the things we (her parents) provide for her. He doesn’t rant and rave, he doesn’t express an expectation that she do more than some simple chores; he expresses sincere regret that despite his best efforts his daughter doesn’t seem to understand just how good she has it. And judging by the response to his Facebook post about the matter, a majority of people of all ages agrees with him.

I would make one critical observation, however. It would have served his community much better if he had donated the laptop to a deserving teenager in need rather than plug it full of holes. But that’s a bit of nitpicking.

Watch the video and let me know what you think. Not just about what he said, but the method he used to get his message out.