Saturday, March 23, 2019

Internet - A parent's dilemma #ChroniclesOfAnITmomma

I think it was just a year before my high school when I became curious about Internet. We didn't have it at home. We didn't have even a computer at home that time. It was the newspapers where I first read about it. Nobody in my family knew about it. And I was so curious!

So I went to one of my classmates who I knew kept herself 'updated' about contemporary stuffs. I admired her a lot. She never disappointed me when it came to current affairs but on this topic.

"Internet, I just know it's not a good thing. My dad use it but my brother and I are not allowed to open it", she said before join back her group of friends. Year 9, 1998! We used to get bored a lot. We were not very friends with boredom just like our kids but then it was it. Boredom actually drove me, to read 'Ramayana', the only epic book in my house at a very young age.

I remember vividly when I could first lay my hands on world wide web only during my graduation class. With lot of apprehensions, I would use it though it was there always enticing me to use it anyhow. Nobody in the real world would know how someone is using it and for what. But I could sense the dark world that it was hiding. That it was a passage to escape from reality for many, a secret zone for lost souls. So I tried to steer clear my path as much as I could, using it for all the benefits it provided.  A lot of that sense came from the age I was handling it. My childhood and teenage years were free from getting tarnished by the evils of the online world.

But the world of internet has since then expanded infinitely. It is darker than ever! Ugliness has spewed the clouds with its poison of hatred, vulgarity and agendas. There is too much of things one may get addicted to. But the dangers are faced by our future generations more than us.

Unlike, my friend's story, Internet is not banned in the house for kids. And more unlikely than my story, kids are no more not aware of what is Internet?! The new 'normal' is to let the kids use Internet but teach them how to keep themselves safe on Internet. Devices are not only accessible to them but they are actually owning the device. Heck, I never even owned a walkman those days. And how much can you teach? And can you monitor who is snooping through those digital walls, many of them are not so secure? Our houses are no more our private spaces as we have kept our doors wide open for the online world. We willingly let it get a peek into our homes.

I am trying hard to stay on the principle that internet is not for the kids before their high school. But I am well aware of what peer pressure can do. The real challenge is no more the Internet for parents like me. Its the kids who have been given Internet on platter. What should we do when our kids come home asking for their own iPads because their friends have their own?
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It has been easy till now, I simply talk about it and keep my use of devices limited as much as I can. As certain things can’t be taught unless we practice them ourselves. One can definitely not hide the truth. It is there for everyone to see. And kids can see that too especially when they are so full curiosity and eagerness to learn. But yes, which truth is good and necessary while which truth is bad and forced needs to be shown to them.

So Mommy listen and dance to good music, Mommy read good books, Mommy  use Internet only for work and rest of the time Mommy is being there for the family.

What is your stand on Internet for your kids? Let me know here.

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