Kim Proctor was no different than your ordinary teenage girl. Easily hurt by insults and just as easily swayed by compliments, she dwelled in an angsty purgatory familiar to most adolescents. But when Kim went from average kid to missing girl, her storyline took a tragic turn. David Kushner reports on the teenage nightmare that British Columbia police uncovered when they peeked behind the digital curtains of Kim’s supposed friends, Kruse Wellwood and Cameron Moffat. Read it here.
This is horrifying. Beyond that, what struck me most was this bit:
Everyone knows teens live with abandon online—exposing their secrets, likes, dislikes, sexual preferences, home addresses, phone numbers, and so on—in ways their parents can’t understand. But it’s not just this generation’s sense of privacy that’s eroding. It’s their sense of permanence. They act as though the words they write and pictures they post and texts they send vanish into the ether. But in fact they’re leaving a running transcript behind, a digital trail of their hopes, their anxieties, and, in the case of at least one small Canadian town, even their crimes.
As the father of two absolutely beautiful girls, and with another child coming early next year, this article did absolutely nothing for my hope of the future of this world that awaits them. It scares the living hell out of me.
Stacie and I have discussed at length how we are going to handle the digital aspects of our kids’ lives when they get older, including where the “family computer” will be (in the living room), access to their phones, etc. It’s such a fine balance: letting them grow up, make mistakes and learn from them; and our role of protecting them viciously and instinctively. There are going to be times that our actions are going to appear as if we’re worse than the Department of Homeland Security to them, and who knows, maybe to other parents as well. But I consider my children a very precious gift, and I take my role as their father very seriously.
So, I ask you, fellow parents, what are some things that you have done, or are planning to do, to protect your children in this digital age of over-sharing?
Making fiction for children, making books for children, isn’t something you do for money. It’s something you do because what children read and learn and see and take in changes them and forms them, and they make the future. They make the world we’re going to wind up in, the world that will be here when we’re gone.
The chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to a nine-classroom school here. So do employees of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard.
But the school’s chief teaching tools are anything but high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all. They are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home.
Schools nationwide have rushed to supply their classrooms with computers, and many policy makers say it is foolish to do otherwise. But the contrarian point of view can be found at the epicenter of the tech economy, where some parents and educators have a message: computers and schools don’t mix.
» via The New York Times (Subscription may be required for some content)
Wow, excellent read.
Source: The New York Times