You may have noticed that on blogs and Twitter of late people have been blocking the mouth of their pictures in a rally against the government’s plans to Censor the Internet. All coming from this:
Didn’t we just protest to the Chinese Government about their internet censorship during the Olympics?
And here’s the thing. One of the core arguments in the government’s position is protecting our children. Sorry, but that’s my job as a parent.
My daughter has been using the Internet since she could sit at a computer and she’s about to turn 11. She’s had a personal, unfiltered, unchecked by me email address since she was five and she has admin rights on the computer she uses. We have well defined, well understood rules for her Internet use. The computer is in an open part of the house. In all her time using the Internet she has never witnessed anything untoward, been spammed, stalked or otherwise bothered.
I’m thinking she and other kids don’t so much need protection as we as adults need not to abrogate our parenting responsibilities and learn about and understand the Internet. Particularly in the context of our children’s use of it.
@15b and @11g have had a similar experience in our household. In the 1990s I argued long and hard with friends to abolish the study concept – computers should be in the public domain of the house.
Our kids have always had access to everything on the computer. It is an education process with positive experiences and lessons learned. This includes being connected individuals and learners as well as digital natives learning – bringing down the system with viruses and using the monthly quota over night by leaving Limewire open – all learning experiences.