After hearing about the girls who tried to kill their friend, my brain went on a thinkin' tangent. This is total speculation on my part, I'm not trying to analyze anything, but I'm wondering how much of their planning was done over social media and text messaging.
How much supervision do you think kids at that age, or any age, should have on the Internet or on their phones, both to keep them safe and keep them out of trouble? How much supervision did you have if you grew up with Internet and a cell phone? If you have kids, what are your rules or your future rules?
I'm 23 and had 0 supervision on the Internet, which we probably got in our home when I was about 10. No parental locks, no one sleuthing to see where I was going on the Internet (my dad was and still is totally incompetent with technology). I saw and did a lot of stuff I probably shouldn't have with my dial-up connection, including chat rooms and porny type stuff. I never got into anything too crazy but I explored a lot. I was never in any scary or bad situations and I think I turned out okay overall, but my free reign on the World Wide Web definitely affected me.
I'm very close with my sister-in-law and it's really interesting to see how she handles these things with my 14 year old niece. Her mom made her sign a contract with many stipulations, including time restrictions and acceptable behavior online and in text messages. Part of the contract says that her parents have access to any and all of her stuff. Instagram, Facebook, her text messages. It sounds intense, but they're not watching her like a hawk - if they think something's up with her they'll go on to get some insight, or periodically check in. For example, when there was a bogus bomb threat at her school a while ago, she immediately had to turn over phone and ipad and computer so they could see if she knew anything about it. If it wasnt all decided on ahead of time, I'd think it was an invasion of privacy, but I don't know. I think it's okay at her age. What do you think?
EDIT: I'm posting a picture of her "contract" here in case anyone is interested. I'm not inviting criticism of their parenting and will probably dismiss it if I get any. They're extremely catholic so that explains the God talk and no taking the Lord's name in vain.
Again, the horrifying story of the girl being stabbed spurred my thoughts and this post, but I'm not at all stating this had anything to do with it or it could have been prevented in any way.