Sleeping in front of webcam.

Visitor (not verified)
anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Sleeping in front of webcam.
Sat, 10-13-2012 - 2:43am

Hi all.

This may be a new one, maybe not. Let me explain what is happening.

Our 16 yr daughter seems desparate to make friends.  She has very few friends outside of school. A couple girls she sees only sporatically.  So basically our daughter is home all the time outside of school.  This is a large city and she has loads of internet friends that she talks with, but not people she hangs out with.  She is a particular girl and has had a few boys from town interested in her but she says they arent worthy.

So last yr she saw a picture of a boy on facebook and she started to message him.  We live in BC Canada.  He lives in Ohio USA.  He is a couple yrs older than her. Now lives with friends and works at a burger place.  They talk regularly on webcam.  ( and before anyone asks, no she doesnt expose herself to him).  I believe her that she knows the long term consequences of that type of action on her future and future employment. 

I wasnt really concerned about talking with him.  I knew she talked late into the middle of the night on Friday and Saturday night, after he gets off work.  ( He is also 3 hours ahead in the time zone).  So last Sunday, I saw her light on at 6am. I walked in her room and saw her asleep with her webcam tilled toward her face. I got upset with her and she got mad at me.

My husband and I explained that we felt it was inapropriate.  Of course she is continually debating and says, why as she isnt doing anything wrong and she is fully dressed.  We think it is just crossing the line but that isnt enough of an explanation for her.

She says all the kids at school think we are ridiculous in our thinking.  I said oh course they think that.  They are your age.  She then says the school councillor also thinks its weird that we don't agree.  I then told her I would go talk to the councillor.  Then she got upset.  I asked did the councillor actually agree or disagree but she wont answer.  I think the councillor just listens and actually doesnt express right or wrong which is why she got upset when I said I would go to school.

My husband has a program that blocks internet to her room when we feel she needs to be grounded from the internet.  So today we said we would cut the internet at 2am.  She got very upset and slammed her bedroom door.  She is babysitting now so we will see in a few hours how she handles it.

Are we wrong in thinking sleeping in front of the webcam is inappropriate?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 10-13-2012 - 11:05am

I also think it's wierd.  I never let my kids have a computer in their rooms--our computer is downstairs in the office, and I also wouldn't let them staying up until the middle of the night on weekends even just because I think it throws their whole sleep/wake schedule off & then it's hard to get up again early on Monday.  But then again, I probably wouldn't allow them to be talking to strangers either, even other teenagers.  I always felt that they should only be communicating with people they personally know.  You'd always hope that your DD is wise enough not to leave home to meet this boy but how do you know that being 18 he wouldn't decide to take a trip to Canada some day without your knowledge?  Hopefully he is a nice boy but she doesn't really know him & you don't know him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 10-13-2012 - 11:08am

Oh can I also add that for a girl who is desperate to make friends, that spending a lot of time on the computer is actually inhitibing her from making friends IRL?  Now I have people that I've been talking to a while here on IV that I feel like I know.  From one board we actually split off a private group & ended up meeting people IRL--I have gone on 2 trips w/ those women, even.  But I wouldn't want to be spending all my time on the computer & not having any fun IRL--you can't go out to dinner, moveis, dancing, w/ your on line friends.  I'd really encourage your DD to join some clubs or activities so she can make some real life friends, not even so much for dating, but so she's not spending all her free time home alone.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sat, 10-13-2012 - 11:02pm

As long as your dd was not naked in front of the webcan, sleeping in front of it was not inappropriate.  It was stupid, uncomfortable, and an indication that she is spending WAY too much time on the 'puter, in front of the camera.  Which DOES speak to the rules that you do not, but need to have, for your dd.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Sun, 10-14-2012 - 1:25am

<I did not ask how to raise my child or what type of rules I should have. I simply asked if others felt that my thoughts of it being in appropriate were on the mark.>

While you only asked if we thought sleeping in front of the webcam was inappropriate, the entire situation plays into the answer. And its unrealistic to tell this somewhat unconventional backstory and not expect any comments on it.

Sleeping fully clothed with a webcam trained on her isn't inappropriate, although a lot of people might ask why would someone want to even do that. In the past few years a few people have gained a bit of internet notoriety by living 24/7 in front of the webcam but that doesn't seem to be your dd's case. It sounds more like she wants to be available in case her male friend in Ohio decides to Skype with her in the middle of the night. And that raises the question of living one's life with virtual friends and whether the parents of minors should step in when they see their kid immersed in virtual life. And you brought up how your dd became very defensive when you questioned the appropriateness of the situation.

So, the sleeping fully clothed in front of the computer in itself is not inappropriate; but several other facets of the overall situation ARE worrisome which is probably why you and her dad are uncomfortable with it.

You didn't ask, but I'll say it anyway: I don't think she should have 24/7 internet access. I think she should be encouraged to make same age friends in your city, at school or through sports or volunteer opportunities etc. And you might look more closely at how attached she is becoming to her friend in Ohio, if in fact she doesn't want to risk missing his contact due to sleep.