Internet (and so can you!)

30 Mar

The Internet makes towns, countries and the entire world smaller. With today’s technology and our age, most of us are apart of this tightly-knit universe. Most of the students at middle and high schools use social networking sites, such as Myspace and Facebook, to connect with close by or faraway family and friends. Others are using blogging sites, like WordPress or Blogspot, and connecting with strangers. Now, we’ve all heard it before: don’t talk to strangers. That was when most kids didn’t go home daily to check their Myspace or update their Twitter. Now, the rules have changed with the times: don’t tell people on the Internet your age, your address, your phone number and any other personal information. While this is good advice and everyone should abide by it, there is no need for parents or school administrators to put a death grip on children’s Internet usage. Our intelligence is underestimated by adults who did not grow up with the Internet but did grow up with the television and news reports. While the world is not all rainbows and sunshine, the fact that journalists only take the time to report on the dark and damp corners of the world, unicorns and leprechauns frollick behind them while they assume their eyes are playing tricks on them. There are (gasp!) positive parts of the Internet. Granted there are multitudes of sexual assault and murder cases that are linked to the Internet, as most of the media today has decided to report, there are also many positive stories. For example, in December, there was a YouTube project that involved hundreds of strangers to help raise money for other people, and in that, there were probably a few friendships that came out of it. There are people that meet on the Internet and at one point get married and have a few kids together. The fact that parents and administrators did not grow up with the Internet and are used to the television reports being the only thing with any and every true fact about the world is not changing with the times like the rules. Television and newspaper reports have greatly showed the seedy underbelly of the Internet and the range of people that watch and/or read these reports are older than those that grow up with the Internet. With all the constant hate in the world there are alternatives for kids on the Internet to connect with people just like them, and, as shocking as this news may be, it has happened before. What?!( gasps echo around the world) Now, I don’t mean to startle the forty-year-old mother out there holding her babies close even though they are fourteen and can name to her ten things that would make her drop dead out of shock and horror (just by going to a public school, might I add), people do actually make life-long friends on the Internet. They even meet the person, as already mentioned, they will spend the rest of their life with. Meeting strangers is apart of daily life (yes, really) and kids these days are more mature and intelligent than the undermining and underestimating Baby Boomer generation of parents out there that have kids meeting incredibly good friends on the Internet. Now, since any adults reading this article are probably incredibly pissed that an equally pissed off fourteen-year-old is shoving their out of date concerns and rules back in their faces, I am going to tell you something: When your kid introduces you to best friend they’ve had since they were thirteen, and tell you they met on the Internet, wipe the smug smile off your face and pull the old school worries you have out of your ass and put your foot in your mouth, because, yes grandpa, times have changed.

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