A North Carolina dad, Tommy Jordan, reached his wits end on Wednesday after his 15-year daughter posted a rant on her Facebook page, a video “disrespectful” to her parents. He pulled out a pistol and shot her laptop dead. And he videoed it, then shared that video with the world.
That is your laptop. This is my .45.
His monologue — where he reads what he says his daughter wrote on her Facebook page — includes some profanity and what I think of as a litany of teen-age whininess (based on my listening to adult friends and relatives as well as nieces). Titled Facebook Parenting: For the Troubled Teen, the video has 3.7 million views as of this writing (125,486 likes, 9,392 dislikes):
I’m not a parent. I’m not going to second guess his actions or hypothesize what I would have done or what you should do. Two of my friends (two different families) who are parents, who are techy and who are not wasteful have explained why destroying the laptop may have been the right thing to do. Both have sold a child’s tech gadgets after the teen repeatedly violated house rules.
On his Facebook page (public, the total number of “likes” far outweigh the total comments, which are mixed), Jordan writes that his posting to YouTube was a path of least resistance but the public discipline was intentional:
Q: Why did you decide to reprimand your daughter over a public medium like YouTube?
A: Well, I actually just had to load the video file itself on YouTube because it’s a better upload process than Facebook, but the intended audience was her Facebook friends and the parents of those friends who saw her post and would naturally assume we let our children get away with something like that. So, to answer “Why did you reprimand her over a public medium like Facebook” my answer is this: Because that’s how I was raised. If I did something embarrassing to my parents in public (such as a grocery store) I got my tail tore up right there in front of God and everyone, right there in the store. I put the reprisal in exactly the same medium she did, in the exact same manner. Her post went out to about 452 people. Mine went out to about 550 people… originally. I had no idea it would become what it did.
His fundraiser for the Charlotte, NC chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association was at $320.00 before this video and is at $3,500 as of this writing, suggesting his video struck a chord with many.
Not so much with others:
Not a lot of Dads actually try to humiliate their daughters in front of millions of people! Way to send your daughter straight to the stripper pole dad! reallycoolguys
The “stripper pole”? Really?
And from Twitter:
— Krista (@kurchenko) February 10, 2012
— Renee Simmons (@NaysGiveaways) February 10, 2012
In a moment of insight, he wrote (emphasis added):
We have always told her what you put online can affect you forever. Years later a single Facebook/MySpace/Twitter comment can affect her eligibility for a good job and can even get her fired from a job she already has. She’s seen first-hand through this video the worst possible scenario that can happen. One post, made by her Dad, will probably follow him the rest of his life; just like those mean things she said on Facebook will stick with the people her words hurt for a long time to come. Once you put it out there, you can’t take it back, so think carefully before you use the internet to broadcast your thoughts and feelings.
We are living in an age where instant celebrity is a share and a click away:
Never again in my entire life will I ever do anything that garnishes this much attention, both positive and negative. I really wished we’d been prepared or something… this seems like a great time to stand up and say “Stay in School” and “Drugs are bad” and so many other things. I’m just not that complex a person to know what to do with it. Never again will I have the opportunity to speak to so many people about anything.. and instead I’m sitting here stupefied.
Andy Warhol had a crystal ball. Are we ready?