Enough with the people who point fingers at digital parents, already. This XNSPY parent realizes the important of being online vigilantes, especially in a time where there are so many piracy issues. Here is her story in her own words…
I am a young parent, who grew up when the internet was still a new concept and still growing. You can say that I grew up with the internet and was the first batch to ‘graduate’ from the internet. And because the Internet was so raw and unfiltered at the time, we all did some stupid things that we all regret. Either a dumb post on a message board or a cringe-worthy video or picture or you know, the casual exchange of nude pictures with one another, no big deal, right?
Wrong. My experience of the internet was wildly different from what I hope my child has. Back then, no one took the internet seriously and people who wanted to take advantage could easily do so. I wish that I had someone to guide me and to tell me right from wrong.
Back when I was younger, message boards with ‘role playing’ were very popular and regrettably, I was a part of a few. Many of them were harmless and even childish, but some were more sinister than others. Some groups only allowed a certain age group to be a part of them and you needed to verify with a picture. Let’s just say that I wanted to be a part of this seemingly harmless, yet sinister group because I was an impressionable young teen and did not know any better. I was allowed in the group and received several compliments from the members, something I dismissed with them being just nice. Over the several months, they kept complimenting me, making me feel like I was a part of them and essentially “courting” me. And eventually there came a time where some of them wanted to see more of each other, so we sent each other pictures. Down the rabbit hole we went. One thing leads to another and soon, we were exchanging nude pictures of each other. I am very sure that they knew that I was underage, I did not look anywhere near the age the group allowed i.e 18. Some of them even warned me but I wanted to be the cool one.
I will always regret not listening to them. Because now, those pictures are a part of someone’s ‘collection’, part of someone’s hard drive or just a part of the internet. The thought makes me shudder.
The New Generation
My child is very young, as I type this he is harmlessly tapping away on his iPad. I never want anything to happen to him to the likes of what happened to me. The loss of guidance on internet etiquette and rules and regulations should is imperative to be taught to everyone and every measure should be taken to ensure that children or young impressionable adolescents are safe. Whenever I bring up the topic of online parenting I am met with the same dismissive attitude from other parents who say “They’ll figure it out”. No they won’t! I didn’t understand the internet when it was as simple when I was young, how do I expect children to understand the etiquette of the internet for as complex as it is? Please, be informed and take online safety as an imperative measure.
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