I’ve been using the internet for a while now. I like to think that I know my stuff. I’ve spoken to many parents who’ve bought an iPad, laptop or iPhone for their child, then let them use it however they see fit.
Ask yourself a question before you buy a gadget for your son or daughter this Christmas…
1 – How old are they?
2 – Will you be monitoring their usage ALL THE TIME?
You must, must, must understand that – unless you’re monitoring your child or they’re very worldly-wise – they ABSOLUTELY WILL see porn, horror, gore, violence, swearing and disturbing material.
YouTube is a perfect example. With safety filters off (standard setting) you can easily see a dog getting operated on when innocently searching for a nice video about “dogs”. You can see someone getting shot or run over. It’s all here folks. Facebook will splurge every sort of moist human emotion and bile into their brains. Twitter will see abuse and bullying rein supreme.
I really need to say this, because if I have one more parent say, “Well Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / OtherWebsite will protect them” then I think I’ll explode.
MOST WEBSITE OWNERS DON’T GIVE A F*** WHO THEY HURT / OFFEND AND DO NOT MODERATE ANY CONTENT
Sure, those website will say ..
Ooo.. but we’ve got little buttons which you can press to report a video or image which you don’t like.
Yeah, but how many people have to press these buttons before it hits the “do something about this”-stage? Answer? Lots. I’ve seen some really disgusting videos on YouTube which stay there for months on end – they can be easily found with an innocent search.
The internet is not a child minder. It’s a big cesspool of crap which is not actively monitored or controlled. It’s a place where the music industry care more about their profits and tell the ISP’s to block torrent sites while porn and abuse continues to run amok. It’s a place where website owners care more about their profits than the people using or viewing the content. THEY DO NOT CARE about your kids. They might SAY they do, but if they really did then they’d actively monitor and check all content posted onto their site. They don’t, because it would cost too much.
The internet is NOT a friendly happy place where the “fun Facebook friends” live. It’s a place where your child can see someone get stabbed, shot, punched, kicked and ran down.
Make sure your child is old enough. If they’re not, you have a parental duty to check those filters and monitor what they’re doing. If not, then your child can kiss goodbye to any innocence they might have had within just a few hours. Oh, and it’s not just porn and violence, you might well see your children hitting an iPad casino when they get old enough to have a bank account.