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Children and the Internet - Essay Example

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Don’t Talk to Strangers with Candy: Children and the Internet In Dostoyevsky’s famous novel Karamazov Brothers, Ivan Karamazov asks a very provocative question: “If everyone must suffer, in order to buy eternal harmony with their suffering, pray tell me what children have got to do with it?…
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Children and the Internet
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Children and the Internet

The aim of this paper is to explore the reasons why parents should monitor the time their children spend on the internet, and show the serious dangers that children come across when their internet time is not being supervised. It is very strange that some parents, who are normally very protective of their children, supervise their behavior in public spaces and warn them against the dangers of the strangers with candy; are not aware that internet is also a public sphere full with dangerous people. The biggest danger of the internet is that it is a virtual space. Hence, when parents think that their children are safe at home in the privacy their rooms, they are neither safe nor private if they have an unsupervised internet connection in their rooms. Thus, the internet creates an illusion of safety and privacy, while the children engage in various activities in the social networking sites. While some parents, whose children are probably better at using technology, are unaware the dangers of the internet; some people, including the educators, know its dangers but still advocate unmonitored internet usage in the name of “teen privacy”. ...
Hence, monitoring internet activities of the children has nothing to do with their privacy, since they engage in social activities on the internet. Frances Jacobson Harris is one of the people, who underestimate the threats of the internet posed to the children. In her article “Teens and Privacy: Myths and Realities”, she called the parental concern with regard to the dangers of the internet as “technopanic”. Indeed, she seems very naive in a sense that she resorts to the testimonies of her students as evidence of her rather weak arguments. She simply believes that children would automatically block the sexual predators and she supports her naive “belief” with her students’ responses like this: “This guy wouldn't give up asking to meet me in real life (through a game site) so I blocked him.” And this is “end of story” for her (76). However, students’ responses to the casual questions of their teacher are far from being credible sources for an article; thus, her argument is not convincing. Plus, her students’ responses would not change the fact that many children still fell victim to the sexual predators. Indeed, Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky warns families and asks them not to be naive and think “my child knows better” (3). In “Internet Safety Toolkit”, they point out the fact that “predators are skilled at using manipulation. They portray themselves to be a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, mentor or confidant to a child and even sometimes to the child’s parents or caregivers as well. They sometimes make themselves out to be helpful, interested and wanting to improve the life of their potential victim in some way” (3). Hence, children may not automatically block the masters of sexual manipulation as Harris ... Read More
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