Monday, July 16, 2007

Education and Trust

I watched an interesting news report today about the DANGERS of putting private online photos on sites like MYSPACE and FACEBOOK. The overall theme was the same that it always is when the media talks about these sites. They are feeding fear to everyone that watches. It seems as if they are trying to scare you into not using the internet.
Matt Lauer spent about 10 minutes saying things like, "We need to protect our kids from these sites", and "These sites are very dangerous to use for kids". We wonder why the overall thought of these sites is negative. Negativity is all you hear about in the media. They do not discuss the people that are using these sites responsibly and actually using them for social networking.
We need to focus on education of the children and not trying to always protect them. What will happen if you shield your kids eyes from everything bad their whole lives? Children know these sites more than parents do. They will always find a way to use them. Parents need to focus their time on learning these sites, educating the kids, and embracing the technology that is available. I heard Matt Lauer say the term, "The internet craze". I don't think this is a craze. The internet is here to stay. New sites are added daily and they are constantly being mastered by kids younger than you and I. The only way to educate the kids is to become familiar with them ourselves.
When you say the word MYSPACE, the uneducated person automatically prejudges and fears the site. Why is this? Do they use the site? Do they have a child that had a bad experience with the site? I don't think so. They probably saw an episode of "To Catch a Predator" or saw a report like the one I saw this morning that talks about the negative things that can happen when using these sights. I, on the other hand, embrace the technology and focus on how we can learn from these sites. They are here to stay, I will use them, and I will show my kids how to use them.

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