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New Way To Punish Teens: Social Media Humilation

By cecilyk |

Image credit: ReShonda Tate Billingsley

When ReShonda Tate Billingsley saw a photo of her twelve-year-old daughter holding a vodka bottle with the caption “Sure wish I could drink this!” she reacted swiftly and decisively.

She forced her daughter to send out the photo on the left on her instagram feed AND posted it herself with her daughter’s face cropped on her own Facebook page (her daughter is not allowed on Facebook).

Well, the photo went viral, and there are reactions a-plenty, partially because ReShonda Tate Billingsley is not only a mother but a well-known author with a large following online.

When I was alerted to this story, I was asked how I felt, and honestly my reaction varies. As an alcoholic, I feel sad that the young girl holding that vodka bottle has no idea how destructive what it holds can be. As a former horrid teenager, I feel outraged and pissed off at her mom on her behalf.

But as a mom? Well, as a mom, I get it. As ReShonda Tate Billingsley said herself:

She had been warned against acting up on social media countless times but obviously,  it wasn’t getting through. So I took it to her level, implementing my motto of “Get tore out where you show out.”

She’s hardly the first parent to take to social media to punish her child. Denise Abbott posted a photo of her daughter with a giant red “X” over her mouth saying, “I do not know how to keep my [mouth shut]. I am no longer allowed on Facebook or my phone. Please ask why.”

Not to mention that dude that shot up his daughter’s laptop. (I still object to that one, but mostly because of the gun element. Guns are just a bit too much.)

What do you think? Is social media shaming a good way to get young people to be responsible on social media sites? Or is it parental bullying?

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About cecilyk



Cecily Kellogg writes all over the web, including here at Babble for Voices and Tech. She neglects her own blog, Uppercase Woman. Read bio and latest posts → Read Cecily's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “New Way To Punish Teens: Social Media Humilation

  1. CarrieAnn (@engineerqueen) says:

    Honestly, as “embarrassing” as it is for the teen, I think its a good thing. I think that maybe if the child was more embarrassed about their behaviour in the first place it wouldn’t have occurred. Good for that mom!

  2. Anne (@notasupermom) says:

    I have three teens. I just don’t agree with humiliating a child in public. Restriction is a consequence, but not embarrassing my teens like that.

  3. Christina Gleason @ Cutest Kid Ever says:

    I don’t believe this should be considered “humiliation.” It’s no worse than when we used to have to call our friends up and tell them we can’t go to their party/sleepover/etc because we’re grounded. Is it embarrassing to get punished? Yes. It’s always embarrassing to get punished when you’re that age. But I think the punishment fits the crime when a teen is in trouble for inappropriate social media use. The “crime” was public, therefore the consequence should be known to all who witnessed it in the first place.

  4. sheila says:

    Way to be on top of this story! This was quite the topic on twitter – what?, a month ago? Yet another worthless article from this crack reporter. Then again, I gave you a click, so what do I know?

  5. Dr. G says:

    I have to say that I agree with taking a similar road that her daughter took. I hope that last time she did this mom said “Do it again and I’ll make you post a really embarrassing picture online.” I really believe in informed consent!

  6. Laura Lohr | My Beautiful Life (@mommycanrun) says:

    As a mother of a 6 year old, I take my own opinion with a grain of salt because I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to feel about it all when my daughter reaches the age of social media interactions.

    There are consequences in posting things online that are not readily recognized by adults posting questionable things.

    I think for me, cutting the social media and phone access would be my response and that would be enough. I don’t know though. How do you stop them from creating another account? Perhaps, for the child, they will realize how powerful social media posting really is.

  7. Chickenpig says:

    I don’t see a problem with this. A teen’s peer group is one of a parent’s strongest weapons. As well as embarrassment and humiliation if needed. It’s a tough world out there that is trying to to turn our kids into brainless zombies, as parents it is our job to fight back using every weapon in our box. And yes, the absolutely most powerful weapons are love, love, mindfulness, love, respect, more love, and time time time…but never underestimate the power of a tiny bit of embarrassment.

  8. Shandra says:

    Personally I don’t believe in humiliation as a punishment/consequence. Not just because it is not who I was to be as a parent – the humiliator – but also because I think it takes the attention off the child’s mistake and the appropriate shame/guilt for that child and makes it a different issue. The child can then concentrate on the humiliation rather than taking responsibility for her actions. That’s actually the core thing about punishment vs. consequences/responsibility. I do think losing access to social media would be fine.
    In this particular case, I think drug education is way more important than social media education though; some time spent volunteering as a family with a population that struggles with addition (homeless shelter, soup kitchen) or participating in some kind of drug awareness programme would go a lot further. It also takes a lot more effort.
    I also have to say that I think this treads really closely to bullying your own kid about using the Internet by using the Internet. Basically it’s the same as “I’m going to hit you for hitting,” since the mother just did the same thing.

  9. guajolote says:

    I don’t see this is cruel or humiliating. It looks good parenting.

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