How many parents find the internet difficult to get our heads around? How many of us wonder whether we should just turn off the plug and dispose of our computers? How many of us see the events taking place on the internet JUST TOO MUCH FOR US TO COMPREHEND!
I am sure many of us fall into that category. However, if we take a step back, look at the picture from a higher level; take a bird’s eye view of it all, we can begin to see the picture a lot more clearly.
Since the popularisation of social networking began several years ago, users quickly understood that communicating from behind a computer, in a relatively safe environment, meant that we sometimes communicated in a way that we may not have, if that conversation took place face to face.
This encouraged some users to let down their guard and behave in ways that may not be totally acceptable in the real world. Some of the behaviour was devious, risqué, dangerous and bullying.
This has led to the rise of scams, viruses, identity theft, cyber bullying, as well as social problems brought on by internet addiction and depression.
Parents are often confused in trying to understand technology, and how best to protect their children, in a world they don’t quite understand.
Helping parents understand technology is something WebSafety NZ does well. We help parents make the right software choices in the home as well as helping businesses manage their internet environment.
Once parents teach their children that the way they behave on the internet is no different to the way they behave in society, we start to develop a culture of good digital citizenship.
We are currently presenting our Internet Safety seminar to parents at some of the top schools in Christchurch. ‘Keeping it real’ is the theme of these presentations.
Remember, there will always be new technology surfacing. Always a new fad, craze or trend relating to technology. It doesn’t matter whether it is Formspring, ‘planking’, ‘tea-potting’ or ‘couching’, once we understand that we apply the SAME positive behaviour regardless of the technology, we start to understand how to manage it going forward.