How the internet will affect the coming generation

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Glmclain
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How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Glmclain » Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:43 pm UTC

I was thinking today, I've had the internet all my (admittedly short) life. I've been posting since I was young, and although I've only recently owning up to the stuff I say, I do my work at keeping things I don't want people to know a secret.

You know the girl who threw the puppies in the river? Or that kid who threw the party in Australia? Or Antoine Dodson?

In an age where small people can become celebrities overnight and one mistake can change your entire life (The 11 year old girl recently) how is this going to affect the coming workforce?

The implications of this are seemingly terrifying, as I know 11 year old kids posting some pretty awful stuff in their own names, and once it's out there they'll never take it back

Take for instance ChristianUTuber. He was a kid who posted the infamous "Don't call me a Homo!" rant. He makes videos about Christianity and whatnot and how he believes it's the way to go. Recently he came out as gay (this kid is 12 mind you) and has posted it all around. People are copying his videos and posting them around, if you google this kids name 10 years from now he'll be all over the place.

How will this affect our culture and society as we know it?
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby nitePhyyre » Mon Sep 06, 2010 5:43 pm UTC

That's a tough one. I think most importantly we will all have to learn that the internet is public & permanent. It doesn't seem like a topic that difficult to grok. Although, it isn't just an issue for children. We have all hard of people getting fired for posting a stupid Facebook/twitter comment about their boss. Even people who are old and established in the public sphere forget that they are in public and being recorded *cough*Dr. Laura*cough*.
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Calorus » Mon Sep 06, 2010 6:00 pm UTC

In a lot of ways it will be more natural for them - they just won't know any different.

The human brain seems to me to master in adaptivity, just as the same lump of DNA might be born in a poverty and never live a day without hunger, as might be born to Billionaire and never know want, let alone frugality says it all.

Genetically, we're firmly selected primarily for hunting and gathering, tasks almost no-one in west performs for anything other than recreation, if (a big if) at all. However, other than a reticence to accept new rules, what we excel at is simply adapting to the framework we're in.

So no, they won't have nearly as much difficulty as we will. For them, it's just the way the world is.

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Levelheaded » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:01 pm UTC

Remember when you were caught doing something bad in grade school and a note was going to be made on your permanent record. It was freaking terrifying. It was going to like, stay with you forever and you were going to end up a homeless bum instead of an astronaut or cowboy.

Then you realize it doesn't mean squat - nobody cares. Hell, as long as you got a High School diploma and didn't get charged as an adult in any felonies, childhood doesn't really matter. Sure, it affects us - our childhood experiences sculpt the kind of person we are as an adult. But beyond maybe a joking mention, nobody cares that you got caught stealing a Snickers bar when you were 9 or were busted smoking in the high school bathroom. Nobody cares about your perfect attendence or that you were the MVP of your 6th grade little league team either.

Anyone who works or lives around people who have known them their whole lives knows that people accept that kids do stupid kid stuff, teenagers do stupid teenager stuff, and young adults do stupid young adult stuff. Gee, you got drunk in college? No way...most things in the past generally aren't held against you.

Now, people do remember the really bad things some kids do. The kid that burned down a house or tortured animals or molested someone and had their juvenile record sealed? People still don't forget those things, and that has nothing to do with the internet. If they don't end up in jail, those people move and change their names to get away from the stigma. Even then, you have to know to find out, since juvenile names usually aren't published.

It's not going to be much different on the internet. Nobody really cares what someone did when they were a kid. In most cases, nobody is going to bother looking. Very few people troll with their real names to begin with...that's the whole point of screen-names. Seriously - good luck finding something from five, ten years ago. It's not like there is a shortage of homophobic or racist forum posts by tweens...

Now, if you are an adult getting a grown-up job and your public Facebook page has a '420' theme? That's stupid. You deserve not to get the job - not because of the pot, but because you are clearly too stupid to be employable. Is your new boss going to use the Wayback Machine to see your 1996 Geocities '420' page? Not likely.

The few people who are well known on the internet as doing something especially bad or embarassing? The dog poop girl or the light saber fat kid? Well, people will forget. They will grow up. Nobody will recognize them anymore. Ten years from now, there will be a whole new set of people to mock and videos to get worked up about.

As an early adopter of the internet, I've got a whole slew of Usenet posts under my real name when I was 12-15. A lot of them are god-awful stupid. If I read them, I cringe wondering how I would ever be stupid enough to think - much less post - them. Yet it would be narcissistic of me to think that anyone else actually cares or would take five minutes to look them up.

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:35 pm UTC

And people being launched into celebrity status isn't a new phenomenon, it's just, perhaps, less based on media syndicates.

I think the internet has made people more globally minded. That said, I'm pretty confident the majority of the world still doesn't have internet access.
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby sardia » Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:16 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:That's a tough one. I think most importantly we will all have to learn that the internet is public & permanent. It doesn't seem like a topic that difficult to grok. Although, it isn't just an issue for children. We have all hard of people getting fired for posting a stupid Facebook/twitter comment about their boss. Even people who are old and established in the public sphere forget that they are in public and being recorded *cough*Dr. Laura*cough*.

At the same time, if you were to save a specific file to the cloud of the internet, it'll get lost after a few years. I say this cuz files get deleted, servers go down, and companies go bankrupt. The internet has yet to achieve the reliability of say, an desktop + external hard drive backup.

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Kang » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:10 pm UTC

I totally agree with Levelheaded. Politicians around the world are debating to find technical ways of 'cleansing' the internet, but even if they eventually get any idea it'll be ten years too late and half-arsed as usual. It's much more important for society to just get over it; the difference between all that 'never forgetting internet' and all those other sins of youth is, that the internet will gladly provide photographic evidence and similar, but that wouldn't be a problem if 'future employers' and 'the general public' wouldn't at all times expect every single individual on Earth to be 100% Mr./Mrs. Clean. Get over it!
(Of course I agree one might want to watch out a bit what one makes public, but I'm sure the future generations mentioned will be alright to cope with it.)

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby The_Mexican » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:50 pm UTC

I have one question, which is that when the kids in this video apply for college, do you think they'll mention the video and that 227 million people have seen their faces by 2010?

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby meatyochre » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:40 am UTC

I'm hoping future parents will push harder to control what their children are doing online, either through filters or increased web-monitoring. A 12 year old should not be posting youtube videos about "no homo" without his parent's knowledge.

It's one thing to allow your children to play outside unsupervised (I approve of this). It's quite another to allow them on the internet unsupervised. A careless tween could easily infect your computer with viruses, or get drawn in by a child predator in a chatroom.
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Levelheaded » Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:12 pm UTC

The_Mexican wrote:I have one question, which is that when the kids in this video apply for college, do you think they'll mention the video and that 227 million people have seen their faces by 2010?


Probably not, but even if they do it won't be much more than a curiousity. It's not like anyone is going to recognize either of these kids once they grow up or even think about the video they saw.

It's not like we don't have this without the internet. America's Funniest Home Videos, Star Search, and other shows that made stars or increased visibility of random people have been around for decades. Certainly most of those would be embarassing in hindsight.

Beyond Letterman / Leno finding old video of a celebrity's first TV appearance (no different than when they have old yearbook photos) nobody cares.

meatyochre wrote:I'm hoping future parents will push harder to control what their children are doing online, either through filters or increased web-monitoring. A 12 year old should not be posting youtube videos about "no homo" without his parent's knowledge.


A 12 year old should not be posting youtube videos about anything without his/her parent's knowledge. Full stop.

I don't see why a tween / teen needs a camera phone in the first place, at the very least one that can send picture / video images without them being downloaded to a PC first. Much less a camera that can upload straight to youtube from any hotspot.

meatyochre wrote:It's one thing to allow your children to play outside unsupervised (I approve of this). It's quite another to allow them on the internet unsupervised. A careless tween could easily infect your computer with viruses, or get drawn in by a child predator in a chatroom.


Bad things can happen anywhere. Careless kids have been making parents pay for broken windows as long as there has been glass. It's not like child predators didn't exist prior to the internet. The internet isn't particularly better or worse than the real world.

That said, I think parents should treat playing outside and on the internet about the same. You shouldn't hover over your kid and they should have freedom, but you should still be aware of what they are doing and have controls on it. There is a reasonable middle ground. Telling your kid to stay in the yard and let you know if they want to leave and walk down the block to a friend's is a reasonable level of control. A good parent will still peek out every now and then to make sure the kids are still there and out of trouble.

Letting your kid do whatever they want - even play in the abandoned factory down the street or hop a bus to the red light district isn't reasonable. That's the equivalent to letting your kid use the internet without private controls and where you can't see them or the screen. Hell, I can't imagine giving your kid a PC with unrestricted internet access in their room like many parents do.

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Glmclain » Tue Oct 12, 2010 2:03 am UTC

I thought I'd bump this, since this just came out this weekend:

This video is being plastered all over the web, and he couldn't get rid of it if he wanted to. What's going to happen when he's in High School? When he's in college? When he's trying to get a job? When an employer types in his name and finds this.

We see so much media coverage of normal random teens being forced into suicide by their peers, what will happen when the student body finds this?

Stuff like this is rather scary, and it hurts my brain to try and see how this will end up down the road.
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby King Author » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:23 am UTC

On the one hand, I want to say "worried about The New Rock-n-Roll, are ya?" Every generation has had to deal with the generation to follow it being raised in a new social atmosphere that seems scary and dangerous, but looking back, was any of it? Was the rock-n-roll the end of civilization? Did Mortal Kombat turn children into murderers? Will the internet be the end of civilized life? Will real life devolve to the level of 4chan? Probably not.

I mean, the internet is just a tool; it can be used many different ways, some good, some not so good. It's ultimately the responsibility of a parent to raise their children properly (and to define "proper" in the first place, heh). No matter how unsophisticated and boorish a culture becomes, a single good parent can always raise their child up right.

On the other hand, the advent of the internet may, in fact, be qualitatively different than all the past scares like comic books, rock music, videogames, etc. Just because all those were silly and we can now see them as having been silly, that doesn't necessarily mean the internet is in the same boat. I mean, while a good parent can curtail any negative societal effects, most parent's aren't that good; most are mediocre, and there's probably more really lousy parents than really good ones. And the internet has a way of intensifying things; being teased on the playground isn't a suicide-inducing trauma, but when someone streams a live video of you having gay sex online, you might just throw yourself off a bridge.

Do I worry? Of course. It'd be irresponsible to assume everything's going to go smoothly. But I can't worry about other people's kids, I can only worry about my own, and while I can thus speak only for myself, I can speak loud when I say, nothing, not even the big, scary internet, can stop me from raising my children right.

Levelheaded wrote:Then you realize it doesn't mean squat - nobody cares. Hell, as long as you got a High School diploma and didn't get charged as an adult in any felonies, childhood doesn't really matter. Sure, it affects us - our childhood experiences sculpt the kind of person we are as an adult. But beyond maybe a joking mention, nobody cares that you got caught stealing a Snickers bar when you were 9 or were busted smoking in the high school bathroom. Nobody cares about your perfect attendence or that you were the MVP of your 6th grade little league team either.

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby TheAmazingRando » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:12 am UTC

Glmclain wrote:This video is being plastered all over the web, and he couldn't get rid of it if he wanted to. What's going to happen when he's in High School? When he's in college? When he's trying to get a job? When an employer types in his name and finds this.

In high school? I don't know, kids are cruel. After that? Nothing. Unless you demonstrated legitimate signs of sociopathy (like, say, torturing animals), or demonstrated significant aptitude towards something, most adults don't care what you were like as a child. Children are short-sighted and selfish, tend to lack any sort of non-compulsive ethical framework in all but the most obvious situations, and aren't good at considering the consequences of their actions, and everybody knows this. It isn't a personality flaw, it's the result of their mental development. This is why children aren't tried as adults, why most juvenile convictions are irrelevant after the age of 18, and why your parents don't consider you an asshole just because you treated them like shit when you were a moody 13 year old. Most of the people I considered incorrigible 10 years ago somehow still ended up as responsible, well-adjusted adults.

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Zanmanoodle » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:43 am UTC

Here's the short(ish) answer:

Our culture is, at a pretty solid rate, moving online. Social interaction, business, artistic endeavors, etc. Our society's mechanisms are starting to take place more and more on the tubes. As a method of communication and information transfer, the internet is of tremendous benefit to our generation.

Unfortunately, the internet, in it's current state, is almost entirely anarchic, and fueled by the sense of anonymity. As a result of that, bad things happen. Kids with less emotional maturity and less-than-stellar parents are both victim and aggressor. In general, it's leading to a complete lack of morality in the more internet-wary of the generation. A dangerous lack of morality.

The most obvious consequence of this morality is the cyber-bullying teen suicides. Now, you can say all you want about the parents needing to keep a closer watch, and how kids shouldn't take things so seriously... but either way you end up with a dead child. And as our society moves it's activity online, it's natural that online activity is taken more seriously than before.

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Glmclain » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:48 pm UTC

Slightly off topic: The moment we give up internet anonymity is the moment we've lost.
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby infernovia » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:33 am UTC

Good thing the vast majority of us can be traced back to our real-life persona huh?

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby BlackSails » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:35 am UTC

Glmclain wrote:Slightly off topic: The moment we give up internet anonymity is the moment we've lost.


Why?

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Glmclain » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:54 am UTC

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby sje46 » Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:01 am UTC

Glmclain wrote:I thought I'd bump this, since this just came out this weekend:

This video is being plastered all over the web, and he couldn't get rid of it if he wanted to. What's going to happen when he's in High School? When he's in college? When he's trying to get a job? When an employer types in his name and finds this.

In high school? Maybe minor teasing, but I think a lot of people will have forgotten this. It only has 1.5 million views. Which is a lot, but relatively nothing compared to every other video. He will be known for it in his town, but not really anywhere else. Most kids in high school won't know. A few will, and will tease him a little. College, virtually no one will no anything about this. Especially considering how few people know this kids name just from watching this video once.

What he has to worry about is getting a job, and even then...how old is this kid, twelve? And especially considering the fact that the kid is most likely a troll using a fake name, he doesn't have to worry about employers.

That isn't to say you don't have a point, but I think we're overestimating the effect these things will have. Even Jessi Slaughter...most people will have forgotten about her by the time she's in high school.
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby fr00t » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:27 pm UTC

This threads topic is misleading.

How internet celebritism will affect a handful of people isn't really very concerning. Worst case scenario is that some people are shunned, denied a few college admissions or jobs, or offhandedly made fun of because of some juvenile indiscretion. Or worst worst case they all kill themselves which still isn't very concerning on a global scale. It's not all too different than having drug arrest permanently scarring your record, just more public.

As for the rest of the 99.9% of people who will never achieve internet famedom, we hear horror stories of how employers search social networking sites. That probably negatively affected few hundred or thousand people, no big deal. And it seems people are becoming much more discretionary with how they share information at that.

I'm more interested in how the internet will affect behavior of individuals due to their exposure to it; e.g. desensitization, introversion in "IRL" situations, shorter attention spans, higher tolerance of different ideas and groups of people, increased secularism and liberalism, to name a few I suspect to be likely.

Glmclain wrote:Slightly off topic: The moment we give up internet anonymity is the moment we've lost.


Lost what? I agree it will certainly destroy the internet as we know (and love) it.

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby samk » Thu Nov 04, 2010 6:35 am UTC

With better search our lives may be less determined by chance encounters, so someone who only got into a career in, say, aircraft maintenance because their family or high school were in that field could be more likely to find their ideal job...

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Yakk » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:25 pm UTC

Few people are internet celebrities. Because there isn't enough "attention" for many people to be such things.

The possibility of being an internet celebrity can have an impact on people, watching someone else be an internet celebrity can have an impact, but being an internet celebrity is not something that will have an impact on "the generation".

It is like saying "being a rock star has an impact on a generation" -- there are few rock stars. There being rock stars has an impact -- but so few people become one that being one doesn't have a large impact, if you get the difference.
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Zanmanoodle » Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:50 am UTC

Anonymity is great when it comes to free speech, but not so much when it comes time to take responsibility for one's actions.

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby PaulNefets » Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:07 pm UTC

I think the answer is obvious:

It will become a right of passage soon to have your name change. People will turn 21, and then take on their "adult" name. Many cultures have had "right of passages", and this will be ours...how else will that duke sex powerpoint girl ever get a job? haha

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby GoC » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:41 pm UTC

Levelheaded wrote:Letting your kid do whatever they want - even play in the abandoned factory down the street or hop a bus to the red light district isn't reasonable. That's the equivalent to letting your kid use the internet without private controls and where you can't see them or the screen. Hell, I can't imagine giving your kid a PC with unrestricted internet access in their room like many parents do.

I had unrestricted internet access from age 12. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that (trying to control your child's every move is a poor substitute for taking the time to explain to them what sort of dangers lurk on the net).
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:46 pm UTC

I had unrestricted internet access from age 12 as well and I was never picked up by a predator or caught on a webcam ranting inanely.
Generally the net is orders of magnitude more safe than playing in the yard.

I can think of quite a few times when I almost auto-darwinated myself in my youth either through close calls with traffic or times I almost fell from deadly heights.
never has my life been in danger while sitting in front of the computer, I have had no close calls with paedophiles despite the medias claims about how they're everywhere on the net.
I probably could have found someone to abduct and abuse me if I'd really set out to make that happen and some kids may be stupid enough to do that but any kid with even the tiniest bit of sense is safe browsing the internet.
The net is far far safer than playing outside your front door.


Yes some people will do stupid things and in future they may still be recognisable but it isn't that big a problem.

Yes those pictures of you on facebook might follow you if you don't make your profile private or if you're foolish enough to set up a facebook.

there's always been a chance of things following you and people remembering stupid things you've done.

I have enough trouble recognising people I went to school with when I was 12, recognising someone who I saw once in a 3 minute video a decade ago is a far taller order.
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Eowiel » Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:04 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:Yes those pictures of you on facebook might follow you if you don't make your profile private or if you're foolish enough to set up a facebook.




So the internet is safe, but making a public profile or even having a facebook account is dangerous (and according to you this is so obvious a 12 year old should know it). That's like saying that playing on the street is safe unless you are foolish enough to cross it.

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:38 pm UTC

Eowiel wrote:So the internet is safe, but making a public profile or even having a facebook account is dangerous (and according to you this is so obvious a 12 year old should know it). That's like saying that playing on the street is safe unless you are foolish enough to cross it.


Or perhaps like saying playing on the street is safe unless you run in front of oncoming traffic.
which is pretty much the case for a lot of children who do play in the street on quiet roads and get out of the way when there's a car.

And I didn't say setting up a facebook account was dangerous, merely foolish.

I avoided putting pictures of myself online until I was in my late teens, it's not hard.
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby GoC » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:01 am UTC

Eowiel wrote: (and according to you this is so obvious a 12 year old should know it)

They should indeed. The need for anonymity should be drilled into their heads before they are allowed to open an e-mail account or create any sort of profile (I absorbed the need for anonymity from the internet itself (internet forums IIRC)).
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:10 am UTC

Yes I quickly absorbed the few simple rules to keep you safe on the net:

Don't give away any significant personal information.
Use a screen name.
Don't narrow down your location beyond what country you're in.

It's not exactly rocket science.
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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby Eowiel » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:34 pm UTC

GoC wrote:They should indeed. The need for anonymity should be drilled into their heads before they are allowed to open an e-mail account or create any sort of profile (I absorbed the need for anonymity from the internet itself (internet forums IIRC)).


When you're thinking about what a safe environment for kids is, you should not think of environments where kids that are well informed, behave well and act smart are safe but of an environment that is safe even if they fuck up. If it's only safe if you're not doing anything stupid, then it's not safe for kids. (Not that I'm saying everything should be perfectly safe for kids)

To get back at the earlier used example, a busy street is perfectly fine for children who are informed about it's dangers, watch out for traffic and don't act on impulses. Noone however would consider a busy street a safe environment for children. The same goes for the internet. You can't say it's safe for children and then say that having any sort of profile on the internet is foolishness. Profiles are a big part of the internet activity thesedays, even more so for kids than for adults.

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Re: How the internet will affect the coming generation

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:27 pm UTC

A child could potentially bludgeon their own brains out leaping out the second floor window, a child could stab themselves in the eye with a fork while eating dinner.
If your criteria is "an environment that is safe even if they fuck up" or intentionally do something foolish then nowhere, not the net, not their own bedrooms, not your own kitchen with them sitting in front of you is a safe environment ever.

Compared with the potential ways to maim, kill or otherwise injure yourself that every single situation in everyday life offers to a child the internet is like a locked padded room.

Even if you make *every* effort to screw yourself over and break every rule about anonymity with abandon you're still extraordinarily unlikely to cause anything bad to happen to you which is still better than almost any real world situation though I suppose you could do some damage by chewing on the mains power cable for your PC.
Anonymity keeps you pretty much completely safe, openly giving away any and all information about yourself leaves you at slightly less risk than you face walking down to the shops to get some sweets because ultimately you're sitting in a room in your parents house.

infants sure, but if your child reaches the age of 11 or 12 and still can't act in a reasonably sensible manner and follow a few simple guidelines to avoid unwise acts in a reasonably safe environment then they need a hell of a lot more than to be kept away from the internet.
Give a man a fish, he owes you one fish. Teach a man to fish, you give up your monopoly on fisheries.


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