She has gone to university and, desperate for crumbs about her life, I track her on social media – her every move, her friends, even her tutors
I wake up, switch on my phone, go straight to Snapchat and touch my daughter’s name. There on Snap Map, in a city 60 miles from mine, I see where she is right now – what road, what building. Even if she is still asleep and hasn’t used her phone yet, I can glean whether last night was a late one, where she was, what she did – was she cramming or clubbing?
Next, I might open my weather app – and see what it is like where she is. When I sit down to work, I now waste time on Twitter first: her college, her university library, her tutors all have accounts, so I check in, hoping for crumbs, for clues about her day. Then there is Instagram. If she hasn’t posted anything new, I can always scan her old posts for new “likes”, then follow those links to the accounts of her new friends. I can read their banter, size them up. It is compulsive, relentless, draining … and deeply dubious.