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?

Ever Wonder?

This is my second post in a row that wasn't what I had planned on writing about. Today, I had planned to share recipes and stories about the food that Netter has been talking about in her updates to folks letting them know how her recovery has been going. I'm going to put that one off for now and talk about something that happened last night.

The world lost a great champion when Stefanie Spielman passed away yesterday. As often happens when such things occur, I became consumed in the task of finding more and more information about Stefanie. I've always been a big Chris Spielman fan so I knew about Stefanie's fight against breast cancer, but I didn't know all the details, all the stories behind the stories that I found in my research last night. One quote keeps coming back to me today.

In the diary she kept during her first bout with cancer in 1998 Stefanie wrote:

"I do not feel sorry for myself. I do not wish this would have happened to anyone else, I pray I grow stronger with each passing day."

I cannot imagine a greater faith, a greater courage, a greater moment of selflessness. Really, that's what Stefanie's life was about.

God took her anyway.

I'm not afraid to say that I looked up last night and said: "Why?"

I know, nobody can explain why bad things happen to good people. Nobody can explain a lot about what happens in this world, and really a lot of it doesn't make any sense at all.

Ever wonder who makes these rules?

Yeah, me too.

RAGE - Whatever... Shut up Jimmer

A week ago today my lovely wife had outpatient surgery to repair an incisional hernia. She scheduled the surgery ahead of time. Her doctor told her she would be up and about, ready to return to work in 5-7 days. Netter went back to work yesterday. Her recovery is going well. She has an appointment with her doc for a follow-up exam tomorrow afternoon. It seems rather routine from a rational perspective, but the last week has been anything but routine, and in many ways I have been anything but rational.

I have to be honest here and share that today's post was on its way to being a rant about all the things that I think are wrong about Hospitals, and Doctors, and Nurses, and outpatient surgery, and projected recovery times, and boy I was ready to just let loose...

And then - My pocket (Blackberry) buzzed. I had a message. I had received an email update about our friend Harrison.

Suddenly I felt very small. Suddenly all the things that seemed like a big deal to me, just weren't anymore.

Harrison is one of the kids Netter took care of when she did daycare. He is D's age. He's a great kid, and he has Leukemia. You can read about him here.

Yeah, my wife had surgery. At most, her recovery will take about six weeks. For the most part - our lives will return to normal.

Harrison has been battling Leukemia for the last year. He has been in and out of the hospital. He has had a stroke. He has endured spinal taps, and treatments that have made him physically ill. He is in the hospital right now with an ear infection. The hope is that he'll be able to go home tomorrow.

All of what I think my family and I are going through, all the trials and tribulations that are really just inconveniences all seem rather trivial.

In the past week I've had moments where I just felt this rage welling up inside of me, and now I just feel well, silly. Beyond the things that are necessary for my wife to feel better, to heal, to not have to push that hernia back into her belly, the rest just seems superfluous.

So, I'll spare you the details of our (really just) different week. I'll set aside my rant. I'll take the perspective gained from a buzzing pocket, and be happy with what I've got. A wife on the mend, and a happy healthy family.

For that, I am grateful.

Wherever you are, whatever you do please do me a favor and throw up a prayer, or a thought, or a wish, whatever you got for our friend Harrison.

He's good people.

How Are You?

Have you ever considered this phrase? Or maybe you say "What's up? or How's it going? What's going on? Any one will do. Here's the question I have today. When you ask this question, do you really care?

I once asked a friend how he was. His reply: "Do you care, or are you just asking to be polite?"

It was a fair question at the time, we weren't really close friends, didn't see each other very often, just passing by from time to time. In such an instance this question could reasonably evoke such a response.

How do you answer this question when you're asked? Do you ever catch yourself answering the wrong question? Someone asks you "what's going on," and you respond "fine." Or they say "how are you?" and you respond "nothing."

This has been rattling around in my head for awhile. I've posted before about being a better listener. I think really hearing folks when they respond or ask this question is a great first step.

What do you think?