Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Attractive Daughter Receiving More Attention Than Dad Would Like

Dear Tazi:

I am the father of a very attractive, very well-developed 16-year-old girl. As if my daughter's stunning good looks were not enough to worry me, she is also very popular due to her sweet personality and the many extra-curricular activities in which she participates in and out of school.

Her mother and I have worked to raise her right, and keep her on a moral path; and thus far, I'd like to think we have done a good job. My concern is her social networking habits. "Staci" has a habit of Facebook friending everyone she has ever met, and encourages people to "follow" her on Twitter. Even though she does not post too much personal information to these sites, she is fond of posting pictures of the many events she attends - school dances, football games, work sites for Habitat for Humanity (she volunteers with them one weekend a month). These pictures - aside from providing a permanent online record - give people details as to her whereabouts, making it easy for her to be found when she is offline.

As far as I am concerned, inviting someone to "follow" you is an open invitation to stalk you, and I am concerned that some of the boys she has "friended" are starting to do just that. In particular, one young man that she met at the beach this summer has shown up at every one of her school's events, and is now volunteering for Habitat. Although I admire his school spirit and commitment to helping those in need, I cannot help but think his motives have more to do with dating my daughter than with improving his chances of getting into a good college.

Staci's Mom thinks I am over-reacting, and has pointed out that our daughter is a very responsible young woman with admirable Internet habits. She has never given us an ounce of trouble; but it is not my daughter's behavior that concerns me - it is that of those who follow her, online and in person. Staci has a close (male) friend who she has known since babyhood and that I trust implicitly. She is like a little sister to him, and I would like to ask him to keep an eye on my daughter, and on those who are keeping their eyes on her. Would this request be unreasonable?

Overprotective Dad?

Dear Overprotective Dad?:

First let me say that your daughter is a lucky young woman to have two such caring parents that balance each other so well. Keep up the good work!

I also have to say that your comment that inviting people to follow you on Twitter is an open invitation to stalk you is a bit extreme, especially since your daughter's postings seem pretty innocuous. [Ed. Note: The writer included a link to his daughter's social networking pages]. She is not updating her status every time she leaves a room, so it would be pretty difficult for someone to stalk her, considering she only updates her status twice a day (on average). Someone who is merely smitten with your daughter would probably be content to sigh over such postings; but a stalker would definitely seek more, and such behavior would be quite noticeable.

With regard to the boy who has suddenly developed a social conscience and a sense of school spirit, so long as his behavior does not escalate - and he is actively participating in the events and projects for which he has signed up - I see no problem with his intentions. Many men have gone to extremes in their attempts to court a lady; so be glad that this young man's attempts are resulting in a greater good.

As for asking your daughter's platonic male friend act as her bodyguard, this may not be necessary. If he looks upon your daughter like he would a "little sister" you can be certain that he is already keeping an eye on Staci, and on those who are keeping eyes on her. There is no need to formally request such protection.

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