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Is the Internet Safe for Children?

by Joe Lawrence | August 6th, 2009 | Elementary

laptop (2)We live in a time where anything can be learned almost instantly…the Information Age.  If I want to learn how something works, the rules to a game or even diagnose myself when I feel sick, I hop onto the Internet.  There are sites that teach you anything and allow you to connect with any of the earth’s six billion inhabitants.

When I was growing up, I had the local or school library and our collection of encyclopedias to learn new facts and world history.  By talking to my parents, elders and other older kids, I was able to pick up on tricks to do things more easily and even learn to fix my bike or whatever else I wanted to know.  Although all of this knowledge and wisdom was invaluable, I was limited to what these people knew (good or bad) and the currency/accuracy of the books in the libraries.

Today’s youth can learn nine different ways to patch a hole in their bike tire without ever asking a single soul.  They never even have to leave the house or the bedroom to write a single research paper even.  If they are truly resourceful, they can connect through the Internet to experts in the field they are studying.

However, does having all of this knowledge pose a safety threat to children?  My first experiences with the Internet in the late 90s were all ones I wouldn’t want my kids to experience.  I had friends who downloaded a book titled, The Anarchist Cookbook.  This book taught you how to make bombs, fake IDs, and gave young devious minds many more tips that we were not mature enough to grasp.  Luckily, my friends were smart enough not to try most of the suggestions.

There are still those sites out there today that show videos of people trying stupid things, teaching how to pick locks and build some pretty bad stuff with just a few clicks.  I am not trying to scare you or create mass hysteria banning the youth from the Internet.  Rather, I want to inform our children not to try this at home OR anywhere else.

  1. […] When you consider keeping your kids safe, do you keep them safe when using the computer and accessing the Internet?  Do you let your kids use the Internet freely, do you use a child-safe filter, or do you personally monitor your kids’ Internet usage?  Visit Your Parenting Info, and share your thoughts on kids and the Internet. […]

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