The internet is the wild west. Anything goes online.
Leaving your child alone on the internet without any guidance and education, is like leaving your child in London, Tokyo or New York and leave him or her wander alone.
The internet is like a car with the keys in the ignition. If you use the internet, you better understand how to operate the “car”.
We are disinhibited online. There is a sense of anonymity, illusion of safety and perceived lack of authority. We are poor in assessing risk, act impulsively and sometimes disregard social conventions.
We are not even physically “there” in the virtual world. The internet isn’t a physical place with tangible dangers. Being protected by our screens make the whole act of engaging with the virtual world appear as an “innocent”, “carefree” activity.
Anyone can create a website and publish it. Anyone can say and be whatever they want. Anyone can contribute to the internet, whether that’s for the good or the bad.
You think you have unique interests and passions? Maybe 30 years ago when you surrounded yourself with 10 people a day.
Now with the internet…..there is always someone who shares that crazy fantasy with you.
Instead of having such fleeting fantasies, they can now become real because it can be constantly shared and discussed. Not with just one person, but with many others.
Take e.g. the Slender Man stabbing case. This is an extreme example, but it happened.
Kids and teens are curious. When you say not to do something, it’s likely that they will.
The virtual world knows no boundaries. It literally takes a few clicks and search terms to enter a whole new “disturbing” world.
Aside this one danger, what about:
- Online grooming
- Hate speech
- Revenge porn
- Online harassment
- Privacy and identity theft
- Malicious websites
- Troll farms
They will all be discussed one by one in future videos and blogs.
There is a lot that is going on online.
Educate yourself so in case you have children, you can pass on all that knowledge by having regular tech talks while being a good role model.
The virtual world is a quick world with rapid developments. This alone is enough reason to have the tech talk weekly for example and not just once.
Don’t forget to mention the positive aspects though. Don’t define the internet as something evil.
Show that you understand the internet offers loads of advantages as well.
The internet can be considered as money and a knife. We people choose to use it for good or bad.
Be aware of both sides.