Rant With Randi: The power of social media
As I type this rant, I’m disturbed and incredibly disappointed. I want to warn parents about the danger of having parties (for their kids) at their home, because with social media, you could be in for way more than you bargained for. It turns out that you don’t even have to host a party, to host a party.
Let me explain about a trend that could leave you in danger of losing your job, your house and your entire way of life, because of a single tweet or text.
Let’s hypothesize that your son or daughter wants to have a few kids to your house after a high school football game. And in your naïve thought process, you agree to invite a small group of your son or daughter’s friends over to hang out. You serve soda, chips and salsa.
About 20 minutes later, you look outside, and what you find rocks your world. The small group of kids that was coming over, rapidly turns into a group of 150 kids partying like it was 1999.
Kids you don’t even know are arriving at your home in groups of 15 to 30 at a time. They come in waves and storm through your side gate. They bring bottles of beer, whiskey, and vodka. You run outside and start confiscating the alcohol and screaming at everyone to leave. Instead of listening to you, and fearing you, they become aggressive and refuse to hand over their alcohol. They start cursing you out, and trying to physically fight with you. They even try to break into your home.
When security arrives to help you manage the situation, the kids have no fear of the consequences. In fact, they egg you on, saying things like, “Come on man, hit me, I’m a minor!” Now you’re in the zone and realize that you have to physically grab the bottles out of the kids’ hands. They trash your home, kick your plants, throw vodka bottles into the neighbor’s yard and harass anyone who happens to be in the area. It feels like you have entered “The Twilight Zone.”
The whole experience leaves you feeling incredibly violated, but there’s no time for this feeling until you’ve cleared the area.
While this may sound crazy, it happens all the time. This is the new “tone” of a party in 2015. A kid decides to have a small group of friends to their house, and apparently, to most teens, that’s considered a “party.” Someone either tweets or texts the address, and before you know it, swarms of kids from all over San Diego are heading over to your house.
They don’t bring one friend, they bring about five friends, and it becomes that old Faberge shampoo commercial — they tell two friends and so on and so on. Before you know it, you have 150 aggressive teens, raging at your house. When the police arrive to shut it down, they lecture the homeowners and explain that “they” are liable if anything happens to these kids. If a kid trespasses onto your property without being invited, and they bring their own alcohol, you are still responsible if anything happens.
The lesson I’ve learned: If you have any type of gathering for your child, go to a public place. I don’t care if it’s five kids or 25 kids, don’t do it at your home. Our kids are so spoiled that they have no idea what a consequence even looks like. Parents are so protective that they will do anything to keep their kid out of trouble — God forbid a prospective college sees your child partying like a rock star with their picture splashed all over Instagram and Snapchat.
Guess what — if your kids are 16, they shouldn’t be drinking, period. If they get caught, let them deal with it.
Parents — we must stop! I blame us more than I blame our kids. Of course kids have no respect for authority. Why would they, when we bail them out of every single situation? None of us have perfect children. But we aren’t doing them any favors by shielding them from the consequences of their actions. Judging from these stories, we are seriously hurting them.
What say you? Email me at www.randiccrawford.com.