Facebook Parenting: For the Troubled Parent
On February 7th Tommy Jordan of Albemarle, N.C. posted an eight-minute video to YouTube of himself chastising his 15-year old daughter because of a rant she posted on Facebook cursing out her parents and complained about having to do chores (apparently her second offense). His argument was that he was going to punish her publicly by using the same forum she used and allow all her friends to see what can happen when ‘a spoiled child’ complains about their parents on Facebook – which apparently is fairly common.
Okay, so this is an odd thing for a parent to do but not really something worthy of international media attention. What came next was the kicker. At 7:10 of the video Tommy stands up and trains the video camera on his daughter’s laptop which is sitting on the grass of his backyard.
Next we see Tommy’s hand pull a 45-caliber pistol out of a holster and pump 9 “hollow-point” bullets into the defenseless laptop, including ‘one for your Mom because of what you said about her’ as he put it.
Tommy then calmly puts the gun back in the holsters, sits back down in his Adirondack chair and says ‘you can have a new laptop when you buy one for yourself. Have a nice day’.
As of today (February 20th) the video has been viewed more than 28 million times, received 316K likes and 31K dislikes. There are already dozens of parody videos, thousands of video replies and well over 50K comments on Tommy’s Facebook page where he’s been updating the world on the repercussions of his video shoot-up, including visits from Child Protective Services, invitations from every tabloid TV show from Good Morning America to Glen Beck and Maury Povic (I guess Jerry Springer’s no longer on the air). Apparently he has even received a few death threats – really!?
Suffice it to say Tommy has achieved the proverbial 15 minutes of fame.
As a parent I can relate to needing to discipline children from time to time. However, having never held a gun, let alone shot one, I cannot relate to Tommy’s decision to shoot the laptop. I tried to think of a relevant analogy – I play hockey, but I don’t think I would ever smash my kid’s laptop, or anything else, with a hockey stick. But that’s a whole other subject.
What I find both shocking and fascinating is that a father would post something as private and personal about his relationship with his daughter, on YouTube or Facebook for the world to consume, exploit, comment on, mock, rate, report on and make fun of, which is what they did.
Having said that I appear to be in the minority of people that think what Tommy did was inappropriate, which shocked me even more. Most of the comments on his Facebook page call Tommy a hero and consider him to be a great father. Which brings me to the point of this article – what would possess someone to “parent” their child in front of 28 million people.
Is this the shape of things to come for the social media family?
What’s your opinion, is Tommy a complete whack job, a super-parent or just another troubled father trying to find his way? Use the comments box below to post your opinion…