Posted in: Our views on the news
Is the internet becoming child's play?
By Tracy Hargreaves - 24 February 2014
For those people who don't have a tablet, mobile phone or computer, you may not have been aware that it was Safer Internet Day recently. A day organised by Insafewww.saferinternet.org in February each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.
With almost all of us accessing the internet on a daily basis, we wonder how we ever went about our jobs or even our personal lives, looking up research or just connecting with people in an instant.
The internet has been a wonderful invention however it has its down sides in terms of the way it is being used. Young people have access to it at a very early age and unfortunately do not always have the necessary wares about them to comprehend its uses.
But when it comes to internet safety whose responsibility is it? The parents, schools, the internet providers, games providers, staff who sell the games, the media, peers? As a mother of a 10 year old son who has a tablet, I made sure that the relevant security levels have been installed. However I wasn't aware you could get on the internet on an xbox until I read about a 13 year old boy raping his eight year old sister after watching porn through the games console.
Was that down to my naivety? Should the games provider have informed me?
Children embrace new technology and quite often parents don't understand it. I think we all have a responsibility to address the issue. More education at school is needed with the pupils, but also the parents, maybe through workshops? Perhaps there should be slogans in large writing on all games consoles, (like they do with cigarettes). Can the internet providers put more security measures in place? Children respond to peer pressure, can more be done with celebrities endorsing internet safety?
Whatever the outcome, the internet is here to stay and has changed our world. But let's make sure it's for the better.