October 27, 2007

Internet Dangers

Filed under: Rants,Shut the Hell Up!,Teh Interwebs,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 4:20 pm

Now, for a technological, pixelated edition of…

SHUT THE HELL UP!!!

These morons who just go on and on about how “dangerous” the internet is for kids. I swear, if I see one more talkshow host or whoever else say something like “get the computers out of kids’ rooms, it’s as if you’re leaving them alone with a stranger!” I’m going to scream.

No it is not, you idiots! A computer, even with internet connection, cannot grab your kid, jump out the window, and take him to a dark alley somewhere to do awful things to him. What the hell is wrong with you?

Oh, what, your kid might talk to people online? Those online people can’t do a thing to him. Nothing he doesn’t bring on himself. If he’s dumb enough to start telling just anyone his name, age, and exact whereabouts, then that’s his own stupidity and your own fault for not teaching him better. A quick five minute conversation about the safety of anonymity will cure that, seeing as such rules apply to a lot of other things in life as well.

I first got online when I was 16, which is a little old comparatively, but still an age that these shrill anti-internet cretins think needs to be protected. I first got involved in posting on message boards in late 1999 and early 2000, originally looking for hints for the game King’s Quest 4, since I’d been stuck in the same spot in the game for a long time. The computer wasn’t actually in my room, but it was next to my room so it was pretty much just mine. I knew not to give out personal information. I had no interest in visiting any “adult” sites, and on the rare occasion I stumbled on one by accident, I hit Back immediately and went somewhere else (I was even more of a prude back then than I am now, LOL).

So what’s the big deal? What are these internet haters going on about? Sounds to me like typical humans being afraid of relatively new things and assuming that it must be bad for kids. Hence the ridiculous concerns over MySpace and Facebook. Yeah, slutty profile pictures are stupid, but they are not the least bit harmful to anyone. Worried your 13-year-old daughter is putting up a scanty picture of herself and that older guys will be looking at it? How’s that any different from if she were at the pool in a bathing suit? Older guys could very well be looking at her there. What’s the difference?

You can’t doubt these people without being considered immature and irresponsible. I’m an adult, so I guess I’m supposed to be telling these kids to stay away from the internet, right? Screw you. I won’t do it. The internet is like the one place that is the most accepting of people no matter how young, and I will not take that away from them. There’s a lot of crazy shit on it, sure, but it’s also far and away the best informational resource there is and it does them so much good.

Instead, you people would have their time on the computer severely limited, keep them away from any social networking sites (while ignoring the very many advantages to them), be standing over their shoulders, and threatening them if they do something online you don’t like. What the hell makes anyone think this kind of system is good? If you think kids need all this to begin with, you must think they are still developing, in which case such excruciating methods are hardly nurturing.

I moderate the NYRA forums and have for two and a half years, and most of the regulars there are under 18. The forums are for the most part uncensored, so all kinds of language gets used and topics get discussed. And you know what? It’s a haven for them, and we’re happy to provide it for them. We don’t hide them from things because of their age. We talk to them like we talk to anyone else. We treat them like they are HUMAN!

Of course, I can see why you anti-internet jerks are against that. You get offended when kids are treated as human. You know you’re human, but you consider kids to be inferior to you, so you get offended when they are called human. It makes sense!

But, aside from that. The more obvious matter is everyone is making a big deal over nothing, and thus condoning putting kids through very draconian home lives for no other reason than being kids. There is no reason to be hiding the kids from every single informational source. You’d do much better just talking frankly about the very few actual dangers, and then just trusting them, because at that point you’d have no reason not to.

What, you’re afraid your son might see a porn site? Afraid he’ll stumble upon 4chan? Well, so what? There’s some crazy shit there, sure, and that’s about the last place in the world you’d want him leaving his personal information, but other than that, what exactly is the harm? Everyone goes on and on about these harmful things and how bad they are for kids but they never bother to really think about why.

You know? I’ve never met a kid who spontaneously combusted upon seeing porn. I’ve never met a kid who exploded upon hearing or seeing or saying the word “fuck”. I’ve never met a kid who melted because of having an adult online friend. I’ve never met a kid who died suddenly for reading online articles about various cultures and religions. I’ve never met a kid who got eaten by demons for posting a video on YouTube.

And neither have you.

2 Comments

  1. Sci, great rant! I agree 100%. The ageists are afraid of teens using the Internet because it gives them uncensored access to information. God forbid a 16-year-old know more about something than a 36-year-old! In the 19th century, people were against girls reading books and having phonographs. In the 50s, TV was demonized and now it’s the Internet, social networking and of course, video games. People just want something to blame other than their own ineptitude.

    Comment by OmegaWolf747 — October 27, 2007 @ 7:07 pm

  2. *cough* Galen rip-off *cough*

    :cute:

    Comment by Adamantaimai — October 28, 2007 @ 1:32 am

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