I can't say I'm looking forward to my son's teenage years. He’s 4 right now, so our biggest issues involve eating meals and going to bed. It's not always easy, to be sure, but I know I have bullying, homework, driving, curfews, and the politics of interpersonal relationships to look forward to in the future. I'll also have to worry about technology. I can't even imagine what I will inevitably find on my teens’ phone, and I can't say I'm in a rush to find out.
As a mom I'm not above using technology to my advantage, and I believe a phone — including a smart phone — could be extremely beneficial in the future and as my son gains more responsibility. But I worry about online bullying, pornography, and other potential hazards that could accompany access to a phone or the internet. Hey, I'm a mom. Worrying about the possible "worse case scenario" is just part of what I do.
I want to have open, honest conversations with my son in the future, and especially when he's a teenager. But I'm realistic, and I know that can't and won't always happen. There might be times when I have to invade my son's privacy and snoop, and there might be times when I accidentally come across something I wish I didn't. In the end, I have no idea what's in store for me until my son and I cross that bridge. Until then, I asked other moms to share what they found on their teenagers' phones, and the results ranged from surprising to actually endearing.