Monday, March 10, 2008

Uneducated Parents

There are at least 2 or 3 different things I want to post up about right now, and at least one of them I was planning on writing on this morning, but this one took the cake for me.

This mother is upset because she didn't do any work on her part to make sure her kids were playing safely on the Internet, and is now angry at Microsoft's Live service.
"Jennifer says the damage to her children from this incident has already been done... And she has banned her children from using X-Box Live to protect them from becoming prey to online predators."
This is just obscenely idiotic on the part of the parent. They failed to do their job, trusting it to a large corporation blindly, and are upset enough to fly off the handle. If the kids had burned themselves on the stove, would they blame GE? I'm guessing the answer is yes.

The "best response" that this parent could do is use this opportunity as a learning experience and a chance to teach her children. Yes, they got to see someone's "naughty bits", and I'd assume they were male instead of female naughty bits. They'll see 'em again sometime. They didn't get contacted to meet somewhere, they didn't get harmed. To me it would be a good way to introduce them about how important it is to be careful with what they say and do online, and how to act. It also would be a good learning experience for her to go out online, or offline for that matter, and research how to keep her kids safe on the Internet. It's not the nice happy playland full of only fuzzy animals, there are terrors that lurk there. The terrors have lurked on the Interwebs much longer than the ideals of fuzzy little woodland creatures in a nice garden.

Taking a step back, and I don't think at any point I'm going to defend not only what she did in reaction nor what she did beforehand, but the article never says what ages the kids were playing, or what games they had been playing. My kids have non-live enabled accounts on my 360, and they play on those accounts. That said, at some point I'm sure they are going to be interested in having live accounts created, or something equivalent to that. I'm sure at some point the "picto-chat" feature in the DS will become an issue when we're traveling, or once they have their own email addresses that they will get something they really shouldn't. As a Father, and generically as a parent, my role is to protect my children. This extends to while we are at parks, around the house, and now online. There are monsters out there looking to exploit them, and it's not going to go away just because they can't use their 360 online anymore. The best I can hope for is to protect them while they are young, and educate them along the way so that they can make good educated decisions for themselves as they grow up.

Not just take their toys away because I'm scared of the boogie man coming around.

No comments: