Thursday, June 5, 2008

It's Ugly, but Necessary

Our computer is in our living room out of necessity -- we don't have anywhere else to put it. I hate it. It doesn't make for the best living room decor. I have been itching to get a place with another bedroom to use as an office and to hide the computer! But then I got thinking.

My husband and I are both computer savvy. We both have blogs; we are both on Facebook; we avoid MySpace, but we know how to get on and look around. We both have used chat rooms in the past (we met through an on-line personal!). I was 23 when I ventured in to chat rooms out of sheer curiosity and was SHOCKED at what I discovered. I heard friends talking about them and wanted to see what it was all about.

Sarah is now 8.5 years old and is very active on-line with Club Penguin, Webkinz, ePets, etc. It is only a matter of time before she gets in to chatting with friends on-line, especially when she is here and they are across the country. Sarah is a fabulous girl (and I'm not just saying that because she's family) and she would rather be banned for TV for life than disappoint anyone, much less a parent. But if curiosity got to me at 23, I can only imagine when it will find her -- even by accident.

So for now, the computer will stay in the living room even if there is somewhere else to put it. I want to be able to watch over her shoulder to make sure all is well. I don't think kids have a right to privacy (yes, I know -- many parents do). It's our job as parents to teach them and steer them in the right direction. It is definitely a balancing act of allowing a growing person to have some independence, but with limitations until they are capable of making wise decisions.

4 Thoughts From Others:

Karin said...

I agree, because even if a child makes every single RIGHT decision online, you never know when he might be solicited.

Plus, there are sites out there that prey on people who can't spell and don't use search engines. Examples?

Why I wanted to look up train tickets once when I was in college. I went to That was a porn site. The train people are Amtrak.

It's just good to be careful.

The Campbell Family said...

that is exactly what I was going to say. even if she doesn't go looking for it, IT will find her...

Jen said...

OMG - I agree with you 100% With all of the child predators that I see at work, I think every parent should monitor their child's internet useage, no matter what the age!

Nerdy said...

I'm with you and everyone else. It's a scary world and like Steph said ... it will find her if she doesn't find it so good for you!

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