According to a London School of Economics report ‘Net baffled’ parents may reduce children’s job and education prospects. However you’d have to think that using the net today becomes just another “life skill” among many. If the net baffles you then perhaps a score of other basic skills also baffles you.
We had neighbours years ago who bought a computer for the kids, booted it up and searched for porn. As staunch christians they had no inherent interest but wanted to know if it was as rife as they’d heard. They found nothing which stunned me until I discovered they didn’t find anything else either – they hadn’t set up their modem or internet connection!
I’m sure they caught on pretty quick though and they would have ensured that their children had a raft of life experiences that go far beyond that of surfing the net.
I have observed, though, that the IT professionals are less concerned about their children learning how to use computers than those parents with lesser skills. There’s a mystique around computers and the belief that the skills a 7 year old learns will still be useful 10 years later.
My daughter got some Hilary Duff socks recently and, while I was out, got her Dad to log her onto the website which is promoted on the packaging. I like Hilary – she’s a nice girl with a great image. No doubt she’ll go the way of all young starlets but for now I’d rather my girl emulated her than anyone else out there. So she’s surfing away and Dad goes off to do other things.
I come home and find 20+ browser windows open with ads and new pages. She has music blaring and cute photos up, ads (despite Firefox’s ad blocker) and she has moved onto other sites. Nothing bad, just Tickle’s IQ test and the like. But it reinforced for me that while they are small I want to be in the room while they surf and that already, I need to be watching what they do and where they go. Umm, when they get big, too!