Thursday, January 24, 2008

Kids safe on the internet (shock!)

I tried writing about the way I feel about how parents etc keep seeming to think the internet is filled to the brim with stalkers, psychos and pervs, yet if kids are left to their own devices, they can generally figure out for themselves what is going on and work out what is real vs what is not real.

I was SO paranoid when I first started using the internet. Convinced everything was going to steal my information, stalk me, send naked photos to my house, call me ugly (it was like 2005 before I posted a PICTURE OF MYSELF on myspace). I was great friends with people online and refused to trust them whatsoever.

So even without constant supervision, I was cautious. Yet eventually (the first time I gave my address to a youtuber: Andreas, aka Aeric Winter after about 6 or 7 months of talking!) I loosened up, and came to realise that people aren't all freaking insane. Now I like to think I can sniff out a scam pretty swiftly. I get my fair share of oddballs who try to contact me or convince me of things.

Uh, I could write more, but this whole post was to say that this article does it better.

Put Kids on the internet where they're safe.
(from Gawker)


SuperSissy (good for both shopping and sex!) said...

This isn't really about this post but I noticed you mention in some of your videos (love 'em btw, do come home to YT darling, the whole planet misses you) you have a Mac. You also mention your father is a teacher. So he probably was able to get you a discount on your Mac.
I have several questions for you.

I am about to partake in the purchase of one of these beautiful beasts.

Is it worth the change from PC to Mac? - performance wise, software bundled, software avaliable, what will the neighbor's say, does god love Mac users etc
Secondly, I will probably (fingers crossed) be studying at a tertiary level sometime soon this year and I know that Apple offers discount to this particular type of college however nowhere on their site do they say what sought of discount you got and one must already be a student or a faculty member to sign up for the discount. A tad on the Catch 22 side! So is the discount worth waiting a few months for. Beacause I want it! I want it! I want it NOW!

I mean look at it

mmmmm Macbook Pro **drools**

NusaCat said...

Not everyone is as smart or cautious as you, but the truth is that online relationships can become just as important as offline relationships. And can be rewarding or painful...just like real life. Age and maturity need to be considered when allowing kids to interact with any strangers, on or offline.

Your "call me ugly" comment points out nearly everyones number one fear is of being rejected, whether they admit it or not.

spoonbob618 said...

Well, I started using the internet when I was really young. On games like Toontown, which is possibly the safest place I had ever been. Not only could I not say what I wanted to others, but you played as an animal that had to beat up robot adults with things like "banana peels" and "cupcakes". It was far safer than my real home, and was really fun. But the whole thing is that when you're a kid, parents often don't realize that you're not a completely blank slate that is so easily manipulated by people on the internet. I was really paranoid too, and still am, and that really had nothing to do with my mom constantly telling me that the only people on the internet were pedophiles. It's really just common sense to not give your address out to strangers.

And I think nusacat is right. I held/hold my online relationships very dearly, and negative comments online often mean as much to me as negative offline comments. Only recently have any of my online friends seen a photo of me. Butyeah.

PS: You're awesome. :3

Anonymous said...

Can't say I've ever made good friends with anyone purely online only.

But it's probably because I don't post my picture publicly or divulge much information about myself.

I guess the Internet isn't as bad as people make it out to be. Just a small percentage is bad.

RKADEL42 said...

I agree that a lot of the "danger" of the Internet is due to hype. The news media love to play on our fears (higher viewer ratings!), and if they've got a story about online predators using Facebook or MySpace to lure kids into dangerous situations, then they'll run with it. No matter how representative it is of the membership and use of sites like that overall.

I think I'm a little older than the average user of sites like Blogger and YouTube (I'm 37 -- is that older than average?), but my first experiences with meeting people online were through newsgroups and email listserves. When I was in grad school in the 90s, I met a few people face-to-face after meeting them through a listserv, and it never seemed like anything dangerous to me. Of course, I'm male and I was in my 20s. Maybe if I'd been doing the same when I was in my teens, there would've been more cause for concern.

@ supersissy: I'm typing this message on a MacBook Pro, and I love it. Don't be afraid to make the switch to Mac. You might not like it for about the first week because you'll be used to everything Microsofty being hard to use. (Macs are just surprisingly straightforward.) But after a week or so, you'll never want to go back.