In my line of work, it is very common for me to have to answer all kinds of computer related questions, from what is the best lcd monitor one can buy to how can one download porn to how can one spy on his wife. I usually spit out something extremely generalized (and somewhat in-comprehensive), hoping to be left alone, not because I don’t want to share whatever knowledge I may have with others, but because I have come to realize that most people (especially colleagues) do not ask you to learn from you, they do so in hope that you will say “sure, I will fix it for you”. To this day, cases that someone really wanted to learn something from me, needed a little push so he/she could take it from there, are rare.
One question that is really often, is how can one “protect” his/her kids from the dangers of the internet. Check the following semi-real dialogue:
– My 10 year old son spends way too much time on the internet. What should I do?
– What do you mean? You’re feeling alone and want him to keep you company instead?
– Don’t be silly, I am worried that he will watch porn* (or start worshiping satan, or meet pedophiles, or buy drugs, or…)
– Well, yeah, there is the possibility.
– So? What do I do?
– Well, you could… [series of suggestions]
– What? All that? It is a LOT of work! Isn’t there a program or something for this kind of thing? A friend of mine says there is!
– There are such programs, but they require you to… [long explanation about how net-filters work]
– Crap! I thought I only had to throw it in and be done!
– Apparently, this is not the first time you thought that all you had to do is throw it in…
Apart from the obvious, the above conversation shows one other thing: Parents do not know what internet is and most importantly how can they take control of it. You could always pull the plug (just like you do with TV) but you still don’t know what goes on in that little box your kid spends so much time with. Thankfully I was browsing Geeks Are Sexy, and came across this:
Problem solved! You only have to follow the instructions in the video and you will be able to spy on your children, control their digital lives, threaten their friends and a bunch of other interesting things!
I have to apologize to all of you who thought that they would read something serious, or even a ranting and were “tricked” into watching a humorous video, but the truth is that I do not have the patience to deal with this matter more seriously than this. See, being a parent, means above all else, being responsible. Yes, internet might seem scary, unknown or simply too much work, but it is your kid we’re talking about. Invest some time…