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When it Pays to be a Creeper

by Lori Sciame | July 18th, 2011 | Teens

Creeper. You may have heard your teen use this term in reference to Facebook, but do you know what it means? Basically, a creeper is someone who has a Facebook account, but they don’t just use this form of media just to be social, they use it as a means of gathering information about people. Some creepers may be looking for “hot” girls or guys to date, while others may wish to determine the movements of a specific person in order to “accidentally” bump into them. Actually, I have heard some say that creeping can be equated to stalking.

I have been accused by my teenage daughter of being a Facebook creeper. No, I’m not looking for a boyfriend, as I’m happily married, and I don’t want to follow anyone’s movements; I am just concerned about my children.

Of course teenagers and those without children may be appalled that I admit to sometimes creeping on my kids and their friends. I’ll admit, the term does conjure negative thoughts, yet I do feel compelled to check the statuses, pictures, and posts of my kids and their friends. In my defense, I do so only sparingly, and I rarely comment on anything posted.

Do you want to know what I’ve found out? Lots. Read below for some of what I learned, and why it sometimes pays to be a creeper.

1. Too much information.
You may have heard this before, but many teens divulge way too much information on Facebook. For example, when my family went on vacation, my daughter let “the world” know we were out of town, and how long we would be gone. As you can see, this type of information could inadvertently be used by “friends of friends” in a negative way (burglary).

2. Too much skin.
Teen girls may not realize it, but they can attract the wrong type of attention if they post pictures of themselves in bikinis and short-shorts. The same goes for guys who pose with their shirts off. No, I am not a prude, but with so many people having access to these photos, it is dangerous for teens to present themselves in a sexual way.

3. Too many expletives.
@#$ &!! Many users of Facebook regularly drop the “F bomb” and other expletives in their posts. Of course I know that swearing is a fact of life, maybe even a rite of passage for some, yet these words only serve to paint a negative picture of the teen using them.

4. Too much time.
Some kids spend too much time updating statuses, posting pictures, and commenting on other profiles. Instead of doing homework or interacting with others in person, some children may become obsessed with this activity.

As you can see, from a few minutes of creeping, I’ve been able to address some concerns with my child that I would not have otherwise known about. In today’s digital world, sometimes it does pay to creep.

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