How to scar your kid for life

Posted on December 11, 2006 

How to scar your kid for life

Like millions of teenagers, Ben Atkins spends hours on social networking websites. So he was delighted when he met his perfect girl online, she shared his love of philosophy and bass guitars, and thought he was wonderful … But the lovely Cheshakitten was actually Ben’s mother, Anne, posing as a teenager to find out more about this internet phenomenon. Here she, and Ben, reveal what they learned from this incredible social experiment …

It started with a bet. I can never resist a challenge and this one, posed by a mischievous friend, was a humdinger: could I befriend one of my own children on one of those ’social networking’ websites for teenagers without being caught out? Could I make a convincing youngster and engage my son in online conversations?

While it was an intriguing idea, a little like a scenario from a Shakespeare comedy in which a character disguises himself to try to discover his lady’s true character, I felt torn. After all, no challenge is worth jeopardising one’s relationship with one’s children. I said I would do it only if it was a bit of fun ñ an amusing jape rather than a sinister deceit to uncover any dark secrets.

And the sociological implications held some appeal. The internet, that vast anonymous behemoth, provides us with endless opportunities for knowledge, and mischief.


Leave a Reply