In Response To “Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen”

This article is about Facebook, something we can all relate to too well.

The brain of the internet are the mega-sites: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and so on.

The heart of the internet is all the stupid things that get put onto it.

This video is an often-seen combination of both. A video, about Facebook, put on YouTube and now, viewed by millions of idiots, who are probably putting it back onto Facebook. I’m not alone in my assumption that older people still aren’t aware of how to properly use social networking yet. They don’t grasp the fact that all capital letters and an overuse of ellipses makes you look more moronic than meaningful and they tend to take everything they see on it at face value. I’m not against older people or parents, because, without them, the internet wouldn’t have been invented. But 90% of them are terrible at handling it, and I can’t really blame them. They come from a time when the sentence “We have the technologies to deliver information at super fast speeds online,” would’ve been interpreted as “And now Russia will be nuclear power, comrade.” But this is the worst example of that misuse that I’ve ever seen.

“Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen” is like finding out that someone pinned down logic and decided to wet fart on its forehead. I will refrain from using the real names of the people involved in it, mainly because this is not slander towards them. This, however, is definitely slander towards a viral video that makes me hate a lot of things, some of which I didn’t even know existed. If I got angry at every single thing that pushed my buttons on the internet, I wouldn’t be able to go into a Best Buy without approval from a local Fire Marshal but I’d be lying if I said that this video didn’t make me a little furious.

If you haven’t seen the video before, here it is. I hope you hate it as much as I did. And, if you don’t, you might want to go back to Googling “facebook parent gets mad.”

The Aesthetics

Calling the look of this video “unappealing” is like calling vomit “non-orange juice.” With a backyard that looks like it was set decorated by Hurricane Katrina and bitterness, everything about this video gives off the vibe that it’s going to be overrun with zombies at any moment. There are small bits of trash all over the yard and what looks like decent-sized pieces of wood to the left and right of the chair. The uneven grass pattern proves the theory that plant seeds can also have disorders caused by excess chromosomes. A shed looms in the background, hinting that when the father isn’t checking Facebook in a paranoid frenzy, he’s devising more ecological ways to fit body parts in wheel barrows.

I understand that this is a small town, and trust me, I know what the average American small town looks like. But if he wasn’t going for a mood of “the screams won’t carry far enough for help to hear,” he failed. It’s a dreary day, on a sad looking piece of land, and no amount of emotional zeal will let you escape the fact that, when it came to the option of “Logical Filming Location” and “Maybe dead is better,” he picked the latter.

The Star

This video runs for 8 minutes, which is 8 minutes too long and 7 minutes more than my brain should ever have to pay attention to. The father says that he works in IT for a living, which gives me the idea that, when it comes to screen presence, he knows only slightly less than a still life painting. This video should last, realistically, for about 2 minutes. Tell your daughter what’s up, shoot lap top, The End. But this video seems to have been edited by someone who was fired the morning before the tape was handed to him. It’s all one long clip, which is exactly why it’s in competition with roofing shingles for “Most Boring Thing 2012” and the clip is starting to gain momentum. The man brings a transcript of his daughter’s post with him, probably with notes added for himself, such as “SAY EVERYTHING” and “MAKE THEM BORED. IT’S WORKING ALREADY.”  He probably should have written a script for himself, since a decent number of Americans are already lamenting the fact that they paused their Midnight In Paris torrent to check Facebook, and are now watching this shit.

I won’t comment on his choice of dress, as its pretty standard, with the exception of his hat. Wearing a cowboy hat should usually be reserved for dead people and actors portraying said dead people. This man wears one like his parents were murdered after a screening of Rio Bravo, and he vowed to never let the crime happen again. Calling it a useless accessory is being generous, but, then again, he did make an 8 minute video about his child’s Facebook status, so his idea on gestures that aren’t useless probably include jumping jacks while still lying in bed and buying more cowboy hats.

The Fact Of The Matter Is

The last time I watched this video, there was an advertisement before it, which means that it’s so popular that companies can be marketed through it. I’m not sure what the market is for “death lawn and aimless rant” but it’s been found and is making someone money right now.

There is no part of this thing that I enjoy. Oh, and this is a picture.

To start this off, let me say that good parenting has not been invented yet. There are way too many variables in personality, genetics and un-definable traits for anyone to be able to say “this is good parenting.” However, there is adequate parenting, usually proven when the child doesn’t come home with roadkill tucked in their windbreaker. Parents try their best, and the child comes out decently when the ratio of “That was a good idea” proves higher than “Emotional scars heal, right?” There is no definitive guide to what makes you successful at raising a kid. I’d like to think that, if there was a book for it, then this video would be its “Paradise Lost”. The story of the other side.

Fifteen-year-old girls posting slightly ignorant rebellious things on Facebook? What a world we live in! In today’s other top headlines, things that happen normally, mostly do. That’s the most obvious problem with this video, is that he seems baffled as to why his daughter would lash out through a website. A teenager whining on the internet is like when baby animals can’t control where they drop poops. It’s something that happens. You can tell it to not do that anymore, but you can’t get mad at it. When you’re fifteen, you’re going to make dumb decisions.

This man, once again, works in IT, so he should have a better grasp of how people use the internet on a regular basis. He calls out his daughter’s friends, telling them that this is for the girls who thought the Facebook post was “cute.” Man, how cool are you to talk to teenage girls like that. When you’re not buying cowboy hats or casting spells to prevent grass growth, do you find other ways to act this awesome? Do you go into a Barnes & Noble and yell “NERDS” before running away? Is 300 still your favorite movie?

He then goes onto say that “she thought she was being smart by blocking her parents from seeing it.” That’s not “being smart.” That’s being normal. No teenage girl says “You know who I want to see all my duck-faced/peace sign in the mirror pictures? MY DAD.” He makes a big deal about how she’d already done it once. This is a valid point. Considering his methods, the first time, he probably just angrily blogged about it, adding “my daughter’s friends” and “mad at computers” as the tags. And as we all know, the only thing that a blog means to a fifteen-year-old is “more words,” which they biologically are repelled from.

He proceeds to read the entire post out loud, often smiling about it and indicating parts he enjoys, as if suddenly the words will become flames and he’ll have attained true power over all things. He then goes over the daughters words in more detail, with his own response. I’ll list the notable ones below.

The Cleaning Lady Dispute: The daughter refers to someone who cleans their house as “the cleaning lady.” Until a YouTube video is released called “Facebook Parenting 2: I’m not a fucking cleaning lady,” I refuse to take this seriously.

I had a joke about this, but all I can think about is this kid's egg t-shirt.

The Pay You For Chores Dispute: Some cultures, mostly rooted in the South, have a pre-occupation with not paying kids for chores, because it’s apparently their pre-mandated right to have to do them without compensation. I don’t care about this, as much as I care about the man’s refusal for the subtle “Hey, honey. Could you empty the dishwasher?” Instead he opts for “The world must shame you and your lazy ass.” Is there a chapter in the child care book he read called “Letting Them Know In The Most Indirect, But Harmful Way Possible”? I’m sure that this guy will probably get a lot of high-fives at Target for making this video, but the daughter will spend the next few years as the target of “I saw yer daddy on the Facebook!” before breaking out the ol’ jug and barn-dancing, another proven pre-occupation of the South.

The Job Dispute: She’s fifteen and doesn’t want to get a job, but wants new computer accessories and an iPod? I’m so un-shocked by this that a bird could start talking to me and I’d say “Fuck off, I’m typing,” just because of the leftover brain residue from watching this garbage.

“When I was your age, I had moved out of the house, lived on my own, went to college while in high school, worked two jobs, was a volunteer fireman and still went to school.”

Has everyone stopped clapping yet, after he read out his list of the magnificent achievements he attained, all at the age of 15? I refuse to believe that all of this happened. If he clarified that it took place over the course of a few years, I could understand it, but right now he might have just said “When I was your age, bullshit” and I would have gotten the same feeling. I’m glad you were such a multi-tasker when you were so young, and now you bide your time working in IT and deciding whether or not you’re going to overreact to something on the computer (Note: Probably always.)

He then tells her her responsibilities, which are all the ones of a normal girl. That’s like being an astronaut talking to a car salesman and saying “I was on the moon! Look at you, selling cars at your job! Nonsense.” The dad probably weeps in despair every time the daughter doesn’t get off the bus saying “World hunger is gone, Dad,… I mean, Master. I solved it.”

“You don’t have that hard a life, but you’re about to.”

If there was a director to this thing, he would have been yelling out “Less protective custody! More glimmers of humanity!”

He then talks about all the money he blew with the computer updates again, and says that she won’t be using certain items until college. This is obviously an exaggeration, as I’m sure he’d get tired of re-lighting his daughters candles and buying more ink for her quill.

“I don’t know how to say how disappointed I am in you…”

You made a video about a minor thing and showed it to the damn world. Your actions speak volumes, idiot. She says that she’s been disrespectful to every single adult in her life, another blatant exaggeration, despite how appealing the mental image is of a teenage girl saying “I’m imagining a target on that older woman’s uterus, Dad. Kick fight!”

Take that, internet. No longer will you be used for evil.

He claims to be posting it on her Facebook wall to show the kids who thought it was cool “what happens.” No. I’m sad to burst your bubble, but posting the video on her wall is both a masturbatory self-congratulations and an attempt to gain some semblance of control in a part of your life that you feel is spiraling. He then says that parents might get the idea to put a boot up their own kid’s ass, which is about as bad as making a video about the wrongs of slavery and then praising the glory of indentured servitude.

He then shoots the fucking lap top. I’m not kidding about this. He describes the gun and the process, which is something that I’d make a dramatic villain say in a screenplay if I was, you know, fifteen. He says that the daughter will have to pay him back for the rounds he spent, which is going to be a great fifteen minutes at Wal-Mart where a teenage girl attempts to convince the cashier that the bullets are not for herself, after she was disgraced on a universal level.

“…your mom told me to put one in there for her…”

Did the mother say this before or after she released the livestock from her winged claws into the waiting mouths of the baby pterodactyls?

When not making videos or being grounded, this family takes their true, beast form.

He then wishes the audience well, and mercifully stops the video.

You can come to your own conclusions to how I feel about this whole thing. If the conclusions are anything but “double rage,” you are bad at coming up with someone else’s conclusions. If you like this video, let me give you a list of other things that you may enjoy, all of them involving someone screaming and someone else laughing. If you hate this video, I’m already your friend and ally. The Mars colony will be grand.

-Daniel

9 thoughts on “In Response To “Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen”

  1. I can’t wait until she descends into drugs and prostitution as a result as this. If he thinks this is his biggest problem wait until she’s bringing home 5 kids with 7 different fathers.

    • can you please explain to me how punishing her for slandering her family is going to turn her into a slut??? just because kids act out when they are punished is no reason to never punish them at all. this 15 year old is lucky to have a father that would even buy her a laptop let alone not slap her in the face for what she did because thats what anyone in most homes would get. shes lucky thats all he did.

      • So a silly teenage comment on her own personal Facebook page is enough to warrant a slap in the face? I fear for any children you may have. Did I say she shouldn’t be punished? No, but is making a boring 4 hour video (well it seemed that long) repeating himself over and over so he can post it on her Facebook wall the way the go about it? No. Nor is destruction of property.

        Before he tells someone to grow up, maybe he should take his own advice first. The more you try and strangulate your childs freedom at that age only leads to the situation I have pointed out.

        And if you want a reasoned debate with me, please don’t type like a 12 year old.

  2. Really good, actually laughed out loud numerous times. As an old dad myself I try not to pay too much attention to my kids fb pages, having to listen to them half the day is annoying enough.
    Yer take on it was hilarious though. Also enjoyed the discussion at the beginning on old people and their use of the net and posting etc (especially the part about ellipses [wait what's wrong with elipses?].

  3. wow. i cant believe the writer of this article is against the video that this concerned father made against his daughter who completely attacked her family on facebook saying the most horrible things that are proven to be lies if you just watch three seconds of his explanation. he mentions she was just reprimanded for a similar facebook experience and if you ask me, at 15 years old… shes lucky thats her only punishment. at 15 you shouldnt even HAVE a fb, especially when now a days FB is usually only used for bullying and drama. so a father shot his daughter’s laptop. big deal. did this writer even listen to what the girl posted onto her facebook page about an obviously loving family she is lucky enough to have and is completely spoiled by?! anyone who sympathizes more for this girl than her poor parents obviously are just as spoiled as she is. and the part where the author calls the father basically white trash just because he is in a backyard is straight up insane and stupid. this is coming from someone who is a liberal female and from new jersey. our parents just beat us here when we do something wrong. this is lucky compared to what some real children face when it comes to punishment. and dont even given me started about child abuse…. if she was getting pistol whipped cuz of this i could understand the hate but all he did was take away her computer. thats a normal fucking way to ground your child since the internet was first born.

    this author is nothing more than a moron who obviously has no grasp on reality.

    • Before you talk about somebody’s writing, you should learn how to spell, capitalize, punctuate, and generally form ideas of your own. Otherwise, you look like a childish imbecile. Which you are. Your opinions are wrong, and you continue to play up to the stereotype that nothing good comes from New Jersey except for the Jersey Devil. (And even then, he was really from Connecticut.)

      • Maybe you should be bothered to learn the authors name before you decide to be critical of his work. I’ll give you a hint, his name is in the title of his blog.

        You’re nothing more than a moron full stop.

  4. Seriously… parenting is surely about developing appropriate responses to poor behaviour. Going around shooting things seems a little over the top compared to, say, banning one’s daughter from Facebook for a fortnight ?

    So the kid was wrong… and should be disciplined… Fair enough, but what will the child learn from her gun toting, passive aggressive maniac father I wonder ? How about, when parenting, go to the maximum extreme legally possible in order to make your point. Also, daddy doesn’t listen when you make an emotional outburst. Oh… and he’s a testosterone fuelled power junkie high on his own sense of self importance. This was not merely an act of discipline – this was a display of power. Discipline ? fine! A power trip like this ? Call the girl a shrink for a decade’s time!

    What do I know, I’m a weak willed fool and my kids will grow up to be monsters. If only I could get hold of a gun for those ‘oh so difficult’ teenage years ahead… Damn, I live in England where handguns are illegal ? What will I do in the face of teenaged Facebook rebellion now ? Maybe I’ll have to talk to my child and not lose all sense of perspective ?

    A great article… damned upsetting to be honest… but I’m really happy to see someone else using humour to make important comment on society.

    Oops, I spelled humor with the British ‘o’ in it – please don’t come around and shoot my things!

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