I assume the intent is one of but think about the children. That does not concern me. What does though is when they are left to their own devices and become monster pains-in-the-wazoo. Bored kids are the bane of many online pursuits.
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I would say chat rooms only because they can lead to the other problems of cyber-bullying, over-sharring, online predators, and so on...
I do think children should be educated and trusted, they also need their personal space (or at least have them think that) - there's solutions out there to generate reports on what they are doing on the computer, including the ability to capture every key stroke. I wouldn't go into a panic attack and start tormenting the child over what I find when spying on them (that would give me away), but the reports will tell me where I need to improve, and what to talk to them about.
I believe that nothing can beat loving parents/grandparents. If you truly love your kids than you are in their life enough to know what is going on in their world. No amount of tech can be a substitute, as the man said most kids are tech savy and if challenged can always find a way around it.Tech fixes will stop the accidental exposure, but won't stop a rebellious child over 5 or 6 from getting into trouble.Just as you once taught your children to stay away from strangers, you will have to have a similar talk about the internet. I was a child of the '60's living in a small town with no locked doors or fears of strangers,with 'private' lines as the latest development in telephones. New technology is always a two edge sword, we have to learn to invent the mores that go along with it. " It's a brave new world" .
Being that I'm a 16 year old boy, I thought I'd give my opinion on this. To me, the internet is just another part of the world. the act of typing comes to me as if it was a second language. The act of logging into an account is the same as opening a door. The Internet and the Physical world are, in one way or another, one in the same. Just like the worl, though, I know there are opportunities for me to do things which wouldn't be the best of choices. Seeing as I don't use facebook or twitter (because my parents don't allow me to, and frankly, I don't see the point of these sites) the problem of "Cyberbullying" isn't really a problem, neither is oversharing. Just as I have enough common sense not to approach strange looking men and/or women, I also have the commo sense and knowledge to avoid "Predators" (Which in my opinion are only a problem for younger children). The main problem I run into on the internet is bordom and using it at the wrong times. Many a times have I been caught using internet in the wee hours of the morning, or when I'm supposed to be working, just because I was bored or not interested in the task at hand. This same bordom also has lend me, and many other unknowing teens to sites and content which would make our mothers wince. In short, I think that the interent will continue to intergrate itself into our lives, and just as my parents have to teach me the ways of life, it is also important to teach us to apply the lessons from life to the digital world.