Being at the ambiguous age of 22, where wait staff at Perkins still give my friends and myself a hard time about just hanging out and drinking coffee at 1am on a Wednesday night when nobody else is there ("ya'll gotta buy food, ya can't just have coffee now"), I can sympathize with Violet Sky (whom I will refer to from here on as "VS"), but can equally sympathize with the father as well.

Soon on in the writeup we see the sentence "I hate having other people who aren't my friends in my room at the same time I am" and immediate must ask ourselves, whose room is "my" room, anyway? (And, would you mind if they were present when you weren't?) I'm guessing VS does not pay rent, and I'm guessing (though it's mostly irrelevant) that the PC itself was purchased by VS' parents. Even if the parents did not purchase the PC, it consumes their power, uses lines installed in their house, and so on. And if VS were ever to get into any sort of trouble with the computer (which is highly unlikely, and I don't mean stuff like downloading porn) you can bet that VS' parents would somehow be affected. So, your parents have every right to be concerned with what goes on with you and your computer. It's the old adage "as long as you live under our house, you live under our rules." As an added bonus, once you do move out, there stands a chance that you might actually consider your father a "friend," and then might not be so offended by his mere presence in "your" living quarters. I know how it feels to be in that situation, but at the same time I gained a huge appreciation for my parents once I stopped seeing them every freakin' day.

"When I was your age" I had a similar problem and dealt with it in a variety of ways. In the MS-DOS world, ATTRIB was your best friend. Sure, anybody who knew a little bit about DOS could pull out a DIR C:\*.JPG /S/A to see all of your JPEGs hidden or not, but it worked well enough to stop garden variety snoopers. For an added level of security (and inconvenience, which usually comes with security) one could easily use PKZIP (today, WinZIP) and combine password encryption to make things even more difficult. For even more security, use PGP. Then rename the file so something innocuous without the ZIP extension, toss it in C:\DOS or these days C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM, and no one will be the wiser.

It's just like stashing your cigarettes / drugs / whatever. As long as you live with your parents, they have every right to snoop on you in order to shelter you from the world. That's their role. They won't stop living in that role until you move out, which proves you don't need such protection, unless they simply don't care to begin with. So, if you're going to keep a pipe and some pot in your room, by all means stash it somewhere where it will never be found. It's that simple. Might I recommend using the battery compartment of your boom box? (Those of you who consider this advice irresponsible must also consider that I may have revealed a whole new paradigm of drug-stashing techniques to the next generation of otherwise hapless parents who think asking their kids where they're going every night will somehow curb their chances at being a lifetime pot-head.) And if you get busted, that's fine, because you don't really have any rights as long as you live under somebody else's roof, especially when they pay the bills.

It's really hard to get used to that notion of having no rights when you're at the adult age of 19...but at the same time, you really have no right to be concerned about your rights when your financial concerns are for the most part completely taken care of by those you consider "intruders upon your privacy."