It is day seven of Beach Week (aka Senior Week), and the only way I know our child is alive and not in jail is SnapChat. It’s an app on my iPhone. Emily can send a quick photo of whatever she’s doing or whoever she’s with, and it comes up on my phone, but disappears in three seconds. It’s an emailed picture with no commitment – you can’t look at it for long, save it, or forward it. Brilliant in the world of teenagers who take pictures of dumb stuff that needs to disappear!
Through SnapChat, I’ve received images of sandy feet with a Fractured Prune Donut Shoppe box next to them. The message was “life is good!” I’ve seen goofy pics of her roommates, and behind them, the “modest” accommodations they have rented. (Picture the condo that a landlord would rent to an 18-year-old, advertising “June Grads Welcome!” It does not disappoint – it is exactly what you picture.)
I’ve received little messages like, “Amy and her group went home early… too many citations.” From this I know that Amy and her group were doing something the police didn’t like. Could it have been drinking? Being too loud for the neighbors? I do know that the Ocean City PD is at DEFCON1 for the month of June every year – they know that between 8,000 and 14,000 of our recent grads will be descending on their town, ready to party (illegally). It is both a dangerous set of circumstances and a rumored revenue boon for the metropolis. The authorities know that laws will be broken, and they can collect tidy sums from each teenager they meet with a beer can in hand. To its credit, OC has put in place a “Play it Safe” program with free movies, beach parties, and other distractions for the kids to keep them out of bars. Maybe Emily has been to some of these?
Another right of passage under her belt, Emily will text me before she leaves the beach tomorrow morning. I am so grateful for this social media! She never called (asking for help or with bad news of arrests), so as far as we can tell, nothing bad happened! Ignorance is bliss, I know. But at least there has been some photographic evidence of good health and hygiene (saw a proud snap of the leafy green salad the girls made for dinner one night). So, thank you Apple for all your tools and gadgets. And parents, if you are wondering where your kids are and what they are doing, there is, in fact, an app for that.