Monday, January 07, 2008

Panorama: One Click From Danger

Jesus... how can parents be so naive???

I was fairly shocked recently when I went down to my family and found my 11 year old sister now had internet access in her room. However I know my step father and I know he'll ensure she can only use it for seconds a day and will keep a close eye on her (prior experience as a teenage web surfer in that house!). By the time we left, Jim had installed some cyber nanny that stopped her even viewing youtube (much to her disgust). So even if I am slightly jealous of her given the best I got was the dining room, I know she will be watched like a hawk.

So how can these parents on this Panorama show still not even know what a/s/l (age/sex/location) means??? It's 2008 people!! I was still chatting up girls online when I learnt what that meant (ok, they were chatting me up in AOL Chat and I was desperately thinking "Why did I ever come into this UK Science Fiction room??)!! Now that's a long time age!

It's truly scary how some people haven't learnt basic internet stuff... how to use Google, what lol means, how to bloody look after your children and not let them get accosted. If parents don't understand these things how can they even begin to protect their children?? My Mums got Facebook so I'm confident she's not a dullard.

At work I'm consistently amazed at how many people can't work the internet... of all ages. They think a Google Ad is actually a search result, they don't understand that if they type a word into Google and click the first link it might not actually be what they are looking for or the most dumb... they try one combination of words then give up when a moments thought will not only find what they are looking for but maybe something better!

It's high time people started attending internet basics classes. I've spoken to 90 year old women who are all over "cookies" and social networking... so younger folk have no excuse for their "I'm too old" type responses. Yawn... you are never too old!

If you are a parent with a kid on the net and you haven't even basic internet knowledge then you are just asking for trouble.


  1. Wait! You chatted up with girls?? That is truely scary :p

  2. I was only thirteen! And they started it... I was more interested in talking about Voyager at the time... ;)

  3. Still....truly scary!

  4. I'm not so sure the problem of predators on-line is big enough to warrant our growing obsession, and the 14 years olds in my family are certainly considered old and wise enough to deal with most situations on-line.

    I think the BBC might do better to spend the research money on something like knife crime which actually kills lots of young people and is a general menace in most schools particularly when connected with bullying.

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