March 16, 2008

Teens and the Internet

Would you let you're teenage son/daughter go out at 3 in the morning to hang out with their friends? If your teenage son/daughter said "Hey Mom, I'm going to Las Vegas this weekend to meet some people", would you be okay with that? Hopefully you said "no" to both questions, otherwise you really need to check into a therapists office immediately. So why do a mass majority of parents let their kids browse the Internet without any kind of supervision, especially sites like Myspace.com. In letting them go to places like Myspace, you're saying yes to both the questions listed above. You're letting your children chat with some stranger in Las Vegas and by giving them free reign on the Internet, you're letting them go out at 3 in the morning to "hang out with friends" in effect. Why is it, since the advent of the Internet, we have not put together one very important factor? Whether your virtually letting you're kids wander around wherever they want or letting them do it in "reality", you're still letting your kids wander around wherever they want. I don't think most parents would let their kids go off with friends if they asked " So where you guys headed to ?" and got the answer "I don't have to tell you, I can go wherever I want". But in all reality parents are doing that very thing everyday with the Internet. How many parents can honestly say that they know where their kids went on the Internet? How many parents can answer the question of what web sites their kids go to? I can say with a pretty high certainty that 80 to 90 percent of parents have no real idea of what their kids do online. Just ask yourself, if you're a parent or know someone who is, how often do I/they check to see what their/my kids are looking at online. And I'd suggest asking yourself this question, honestly, before you're son/daughter is added to the list of millions that have disappeared or run away after meeting someone online. Or you could just hand your kids the keys to your car and give them one of your credit cards.