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On Children and the Internet

Do we really know what your kids are doing when they are online? We as parents, might have to pay the price – and not in the monetary sense either.

Scenario # 1

Are your underaged kids downloading films and songs from the Internet illegally – with or without your knowledge? According to a technology news item at Redorbit, Internet providers and music trade industry have joined forces to stop piracy over the Internet. Users who download media illegally – they know because they are monitoring the piracy sites – are sent official warnings. Those who ignore the warnings have to pay the price – the slowing down Internet speed to restrict downloading big files.

Scenario # 2:

Are your kids part of social networks? Do they keep the blog? Do you check what they are posting? According to this article in Wesh2 Orlando, what your kids post on the Internet may affect not only them but the whole family as well. Some teenagers may tend to pour their hearts out to anonymous “cyberfriends” – be it about mommy’s drinking problems, daddy’s abusive behavior, drugs and sexual escapades at home. The posts may or may not be accurate but there are eyes and ears on the Net keeping tabs on you, be it current and prospective employers, creditors, or the police. Whatever has been posted might haunt us and our family months, years, decades from now.

Scenario # 3:

This is the scariest of all scenarios. They started years ago but are still ranging on – teen suicide pacts planned over the Internet have occurred in countries all over including Australia, UK, and Switzerland. Though such kind of pacts existed before the advent of the Internet, technology has facilitated the spread and planning of this psychiatric problem – even among people who have never personally met.

While we cannot stop our kids from using the Internet, there is clearly a need for checks and controls, maybe even censorship. My kids are still too young for me to worry about these things but I’m sure these technology-associated problems will not disappear but might even get worse with time. I only hope that when kids are old enough to use the Net, I will be up to the task to watch our for them.


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