Should Parents be Able to Look Through Their Kids Phones?


Nandhika Kurakula

Hyumi Wijesakara looking at her phone during CAT time in the Student Center.

Privacy (noun): the state or condition of being free from being observed or disurbed by other people. Should it be considered an invasion of privacy if parents go through their kids’ phones?

Around 88% of teens have phones nowadays, which causes worry in parents who are just trying to be protective. Parents can get concerned and go through their kids’ apps, search history and text messages to make sure the kids aren’t doing anything the parents don’t agree with. This will make parents less scared if they see that their kid is not doing anything they are not supposed to be doing.

Going through kids’ phones may be a good thing for parents, but how does it make kids feel?

Parents are obviously worried about their kids and want to make sure they are staying safe, but in some instances, looking through their kids’ phones affects a third party.

“If your friend has a really big problem that they were like, ‘okay, don’t tell anyone,’ but then if your parents suddenly just go through your phone and then they snoop into your friend’s business, it affects more than one person,” said freshman Alicia Zhang.

Going through the kid’s phone might make the kid not trust their parents as much because the parent is not completely trusting their kid. It could make the kid feel like they don’t have control over what they text, for example, on their phone.

Is it better if parents give their kids some warning before going through their phone?

“If the parents tell their kid in advance that they will go through their phone, it is better than doing it on the spot, but they still should not do it if there is not a good reason,” said sophomore Hannah Wang.

To what extent does looking out for their kid turn into an invasion of privacy?

“I think that search history is okay if they feel a need to but I think that texts, honestly, is an invasion of privacy,” said junior Sophie Konstantopoulos.

Overall, parents should be able to trust their kid enough to not look through their phones. This will also maintain trust and a healthy relationship. If there is heavy evidence that there is something that should be investigated, then it’s okay, but if not… teens should have some privacy.