Internet Responsibility - A new project ?

I have a few inspirations for today's post. A conversation I had this morning with my friend Nate Riggs who also posted on the subject earlier this year. An article in Today's Detroit Free Press, and last but not least a note I got from a friend via Facebook last week.

So, Jim, how does one block one's child from Facebook? If I go in and change her password, will that take care of it? Or could she request the password and they will send her the new one on her email? I'll keep looking at the FB site....

Short story, My daughter was going to send a letter to a someone she met through Facebook somehow. Gosh the address of the person was a P.O. Box. What a shocker. And should we alert police that this might be a potential stalker/creeper? Or am I overreacting?

I really want to strangle my daughter.

Okay, obviously my friend is not going to strangle her daughter, but this does raise a very real, and ongoing question about Internet safety, particularly for our children.

So what's the answer? Well, the simple answer is to turn everything off right? If we ignore it, the problem goes away...

Or does it?

Personally, I don't think the Internet is going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, I think the Internet is going to continue to become more and more a part of our daily lives, particularly with the continued growth of the social web.

So, what are some other answers?

I think the answer is to involve our children in the Internet, direct their involvement, or as Nate put it this morning - channel that water that is already running downhill.

Rather than elaborate right now though, I'd like to ask for your input. What do you think the answer is? How would you solve my friend's problem with her daughter?

A bigger question to tackle in the process of course is how do we direct our child's involvement in the social web? Do you think there should be rules? What do you think those rules should be?

As the discussion continues, I hope to post more about this by talking about the various tools that are available, and how our kids can make the best use of them.

But as we kick this off, I'm giving my readers the floor. I'm really interested in your input here. What say you?


Cat said...

I feel this should be handled the same way I would handle books and movies and other media. If I am unfamiliar with what my son is watching/reading/listening to, I familiarize myself with it. Next, I open up conversations with him. I ask him what is cool about what he's reading/watching. Do you like it? What makes it so provocative? In this case, I'd ask about the friendship - what makes you feel this person "gets you"? Then I'd talk about genuine, real people in his life who satisfy those same needs . . . and if he didn't have friends like that, I'd help him think of ways he could meet people. Every teen needs multiple avenues of sharing their thoughts and dreams. Every person wants to feel loved, significant, needed. Sometimes, just being there for your child will remind them that they are loved and needed . . . and sometimes it takes many more conversations than just one. I hope your friend and the child involved are ok, and I hope they find ways to learn and be stronger from this.

You're right - ignoring the issue or blocking FB aren't going to solve the root problems. Using this as a learning opportunity will do a lot more for her than simply applying more restrictions.

read2akid said...

I follow both my kids on FB/MyS and check their status daily. I comment about them, too, so they know I'm looking at their pages. I check to see who is following them. If I walk through the room and see them chatting, I ask who they are talking to. I stay in touch with what they are doing. Cutting them off from social media would not work; they would find a way to get on because that's how kids communicate now. And then, I'd have a wall between us.

Kids NEVER believe that something bad could happen to them. Protection, unfortunately, starts with education that there are some truly wicked people in the world. It continues with teaching "street" smarts--social media smarts. Use them to stay connected with your kids.

Pilland said...

Your report is very interesting indeed.
Best wishes from an Estonian living in Italy!

prashant said...

I familiarize myself with it. Next, I open up conversations with him

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