In an ultra-modern and high-tech place like Hong Kong, almost every second teenager has a smartphone and we are absorbed in online activity. But dangers lurk in the forms of predators, cyber bullies, and so on.
Parents are right to be vigilant about their children's online activity, and protect them from bad things and experiences. If teenagers are given privacy rights, we may end up in serious trouble which could damage our reputations or even leave us psychologically scarred for life.
However, we often protest against our parents poking their noses in our affairs. Many parents consequently face resistance and bad behaviour.
Teenagers often wrongly assume that what happens in our rooms and drawers should be our own private business. We should not forget that we are dependent on parents, and are their responsibility. If something bad happens to us, the whole family would suffer.
Parents, and society at large, have the rightful responsibility to safeguard innocent children, and provide them with a healthy environment to blossom into mature and happy adults.
The key to this privacy debate is a harmonious parent-child relationship where parents caringly and gently handle the children while children also have the empathy that their parents hope for.
Privacy rights for teenagers that may involve the risks of irreparable damage cannot be handed out. Teenagers should have a little more patience. Privacy will come our way eventually, as we mature enough to fully take care of ourselves. Until then, we should understand that privacy is not a right: it is a privilege given to us when we prove ourselves trustworthy and honest.