Have you ever felt so disrespected by someone texting on his or her phone right there in front of you that you’ve wanted to grab the device and throw it out the window or maybe even… shoot nine bullets into it? The latter course is exactly what father Tommy Jordan did to his daughter Hannah’s laptop computer after he felt she insulted him in a diatribe she posted on Facebook. He not only shot the laptop, he shot video of himself doing it, and it's a Youtube sensation, with 23 million views and counting. In what her father calls “her little rebellious post” addressed to her parents, Hannah had vented her frustrations about being a “slave” and having to do domestic chores. In response, her father, Jordan, fired exploding hollow-point rounds into her computer. His unconventional parenting technique has raised a lot of eyebrows and questions about parenting in the age of social media.
Should kids be allowed to freely express their anger with their parents on Facebook? How appropriate was Tommy Jordan’s big-caliber response? Did he overreact by potentially humiliating his daughter or is this a case of constructive tough-love?
Karen Sternheimer, Sociology associate professor, USC
Karen North, director, online communities program, USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism