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“Growing Up Online… Benefits vs. Risks”

It is really a moot question; Pandora’s Box is already opened. Even if we decide, the benefits do not outweigh the risks, then what? It is now a thread woven into the social fabric of our children’s behavior and lifestyle.

It is not much different than asking the same question regarding the benefits of the media: Internet, television, magazines, books, etc. are outweighed by the risks. There exist polar opposites for each which, fortunately the majority considers unacceptable and the extreme.

We just had a discussion today regarding “monitoring” your child’s online activity. The benefits (good parenting in the 21st Century) opposed to the perceived risks (spying on your child).

Like the Internet, online social networking anomalies, are no longer considered technology tools, these are elements of your child’s everyday life as much as going to school, dating, and learning to drive. Technologies will continue to influence the behavior of future generations and most likely, each will provide a benefit (most likely the catalyst that spreads it virally) and a risk; those who invariably find a misuse to cause harm to others.

However, the question should be directed to the Internet… Do the benefits outweigh the risks? After all, social networking is a byproduct of the Internet. The answer to this question is; it depends.

As for my partner and me, the internet and social networking offer more benefits than risk and we intend to do everything within our powers to make sure our children and as many of the new Net-Generation are empowered with the skills to understand the difference.

Parenting and behavioral change (teaching our children proper online etiquette) are the keys to locking out many of the risks and therefore encouraging the benefits to surface by being civil to one another.

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  2. Dec 16, 2008: Baby-Parenting.com
  3. Dec 18, 2008: Posts about Social Media as of December 18, 2008 | The Lessnau Lounge

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