Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Cybersafety Causes Morning Time Warp?

There is something incredibly disappointing about waking up thinking it is the weekend, only to discover you're still part way through the week.  Imagine then, how very much more disappointing it would be to wake up thinking it is Saturday and figure out (slowly!) that it is only Tuesday.  Near the start of the week.  *sigh*  That's how I started my day.

The reason for my out-of-whack start to the day?  I'll claim two reasons.  Firstly, a jab in the arm to update my tetnus, diptheria, whooping cough immunisation.  I figured since I had no recollection of having had the last one, I was probably due to have it again, especially with whooping cough on the rise.

Secondly, an unexpected evening out to hear Dr Michael Carr-Gregg speaking about Cybersafety, thanks to an early evening phone call from the library teacher at Our School.

Dr Carr-Gregg began the evening with the quote "If you haven't upset your teenager at least three times this week, you're not trying hard enough".  Ahh...already this was my kind of guy.  His other quote was "It is not our job to be our kids' friend.  It is our job to keep them safe".  He went on to say that if sometimes that makes us unpopular, then so be it.  Yep, in other circumstances we'd be fabulous friends.

When it comes to cybersafety and cyberbullying Dr Carr-Gregg is a wealth of wise and useful information, sprinkled with his very down-to-earth brand of humour and creative discipline style.  He didn't really tell me very much I didn't know...but what I didn't know was pretty big stuff:
  • As parents, we are legally responsible for what happens when our modem is in use ~ if our kids misuse our internet connection, we will be in the firing line as surely as the misuser.  
  • When our kids do silly things online there is the potential for having committed a crime they didn't intend to commit and their future could be seriously affected.
  • Kids under 13yo who have a Facebook account are committing fraud!
  • Our kids are already creating their CV.  People have been passed over as potential employees because of opinions expressed on their Facebook pages!
Of course there was so much more discussed in the hour or so that Dr Carr-Gregg spoke.  Interestingly he does not advocate for banning our children from the internet or social networking sites.  Rather, he advocates for a very high level of parental involvement, monitoring and supervision.  There is also a social networking site called 'Togetherville.com' that he describes as 'training wheels for Facebook'.  He deemed it a safer place parents teach their children to use such sites safely and responsibly and encouraged us to take a look at it.

1 comment:

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Such an interesting post! I completely agree that it's not our job to be our kids' friends, and also that we really need to be paying attention to what they're doing online. In fact I think I'll go check Jack's recent history activity right now!

Funny about waking up and thinking it's the weekend--I've had that happen from time to time, too, and it's so disappointing!