Sunday, February 1, 2009

growing up online...belated

I thought this video was pretty interesting, and had a well-rounded variety of stories related to the internet and its affects on kids.  I have to be honest and say that the PTO mother really annoyed me.  The internet and the extent to which kids use it can be a scary thing, but I really don't think you can control it in the way she was trying to.  And I think she ended up alienating her son more than she protected him.  I'm not a parent, so I know I don't know what it feels like, but I hope that when I do have kids I realize that letting go and letting them find their own way is just as important as protecting them.  

It's hard to stand my ground on this point when it comes to the cyber bullying stories later in the film.  The boy who killed himself had loving parents and a couple of good friends, it doesn't seem like that should have happened to him.  And I would have to agree with his father (from what the video showed) that the internet probably escalated the feelings and events that led to his death.  How do you watch that and not want to protect your kid or your students from the internet?  

But in the end, the internet is a powerful part of everyday life for these kids and you can't just cut it out or block it.  It has definitely changed the world we live in and that means new generations will have different childhoods than we did.  That might be scary, but it's unavoidable.  I think we just need to do our best to handle it with a little bit of grace.  i.e. not like the crazed PTO mom :)

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