The World Is A Dangerous Place, Both Online And Off... Story At 11

from the hasn't-this-played-out-enough? dept

It seems like not a week goes by when we see yet another story about just what an evil place MySpace is for teens. What's funny is you could replace every instance of "MySpace" in the article with "chatrooms," switch the date to a few years back and you could probably find a nearly identical article somewhere -- probably quoting the same "experts." Or just replace "MySpace" with "the internet" from about a decade ago -- and you'll get the same thing. Remember it was about a decade ago when Time Magazine put out its infamous article on that dangerous internet, chock full of dangerous cyberporn -- that was quickly, and thoroughly debunked. The press loves these "something online is dangerous" stories, because they have a good hook. However, lots of things, both online and offline, have dangerous components to them. Rather than just building up the fear aspect that creates a misdirected lynch mob towards completely shutting down whatever is the dangerous thing this year, shouldn't we be more focused on teaching people who to have a bit of street smarts -- both online and off? When I was a kid my parents taught me to be careful around strangers. Are parents today not teaching their kids how to be careful and to avoid those who may be dangerous? Are they simply waiting for the press to build up enough fear that the government has to come in and do the parenting for them? Sure, MySpace is dangerous online... for kids who don't know enough to be careful around strangers. So, which is a better solution? Stopping MySpace? Or teaching kids to be more careful? Because, if you stop MySpace, you can bet the same kids will just move on to the next "dangerous" thing. Of course, that will give the press their next hot story.

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  1. identicon
    TMS, 10 Mar 2006 @ 1:46am

    My Spaces- a case of "rights", I do not think so-

    I would suggest that the title of this thread is itself misleading in it's intention. While it is true that little good follows from over-reaction to a media story like this, the fact is the case in point here is not representative enough of the actual reality.

    Further, while I would certainly agree that any adult has the freedom to express themselves in any manner they would like. However, this freedom does not follow as true if in the process of exercising your "freedom" you are, or could be endangering others.

    The keyword here is "Adult", and this story is not about adults exercising their freedom of expression or of speech.(and what is mentioned here in this topical submission is a mere sound-bite of information) It is instead a story about children, not of consenting age for anything.

    Yes, no one should even debate the fact that the parents have primary responsibility for a child's behavior, conduct, and on it goes. However, it is also true that these same parents (and taxpaying citizens) also have a right to reasonably expect their children can go to school and not exposed to elements of behavior that are not acceptable by any responsible moral society.

    As far as the extension to what post were made from home; it seems that if these actions were started or promoted at school,and further as in this case harmful hatred and even much worse, then yes the school has not only the right but a responsibility to the by no doubt far greater majority of parents who do not want their children exposed to this type of atmosphere. It is easy enough to visualize if you put yourself in the position of the parents of the children who were in fact being victimized.

    Personally, I must admit that I have raised both of my children (one has already graduated college) entirely through a faith based private Christian school system. While far from being the "perfect" system (if this were to exist) despite my initial reservations many years ago, there is no doubt in my mind that to educate them in this system was certainly one of the best decisions I have ever made in my twenty-eight years of parenting experience.

    The internet, just as society at large has it's bad and even down to the extremely evil, all available with great ease. However, this bad element pales in comparison to the good that exist on the internet, all of which anyone can reach with the same couple of clicks. Now as to what choices your children may or will make is in fact going to be largely (though not completely) influenced by the environment in which they have been raised, the moral standards they have been taught, and possible most importantly, the role models who they know most, yes it's the parents.

    However, it should be realized that just as all people do not have the same skills or qualifications, having a child does not make one a "parent" in the true sense of the word. In fact it takes years of practice to fully achieve that title, and even then, your still only human. The fact is that many parents of these children are single parent families struggling under tremendous pressures. Divorce is at the highest rate in recorded history, with many young parents convincing themselves that the children will be better off if they are divorced, when in fact this is almost never the case, rather it is a weak attempt at a selfish self-serving excuse. It tears a child apart as it is quite unnatural for a child to have to live with only one parent or choose one over the other. (cases of abuse excepted of course)

    So are the schools evil if they in good faith try to teach and then follow through with problems that perhaps the parents have been unable (hopefully not unwilling) to correct or control, I think not, and to vilify the system for attempting to do what is right is encouraging what is wrong.

    TMS

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