Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Internet is Amazing

You can do almost anything you want on the internet. You can balance your checkbook, play a game with someone half way around the world, or read what some one you've never heard of thinks about some important world topic.

You can do nearly anything on the internet. In fact, if you're a teenager you can even find help on the best way to kill yourself. That's right. You didn't misread that last sentence. Parents, you need to be very aware of what's out there. According to this article on CNN.com,

http://www.cnn.com/2005/US/11/04/suicide.internet/index.html

there is a newsgroup called Alt.Suicide.Holiday (ASH). This group provides "recipes" for toxic potions to cause painless death. They provide support and in the case of the young woman in this story, sometimes even help with the planning process.

I can't say this strongly enough. Parents...be aware of what your child is exposed to on the internet. And even more than ever, pray for discernment and wisdom to help you see the trap before your child falls into it.

The internet is a powerful tool for a school aged child to learn to use. It can teach them hundreds of useful things. We just have to watch out for the deadly things too.

It's no longer enough to use parental blocks and assume that they'll keep the kids safe. That software helps, but it's not enough. We as parents have to maintain constant vigilance. A child can start in an innocent chat room and be led to a site like this that is a threat to his very life.

I'm looking for feedback as to what can be done to curb this kind of insanity. Should we create laws? If we did, how could we enforce them? What else can we do?

The best thing I can think of is to teach our kids that their lives are too important to waste like that. The best way to teach them that is to drive home the lessons taught in the bible.

Parents, watch over your children. Kids, keep your eyes open and don't let yourselves be deceived.

4 Comments:

Blogger steward said...

With the numerous tales of depravity such as incest (Lot and his daughters after leaving Sodom) and Godly-directed genocide (7th chapter of Deuteronomy) in the Judaeo-Christian scriptures, you might want to be careful about laws limiting speech. A noted feminist, Andrea Dworkin, learned that lesson in Canada when she got laws passed against certain types of 'hate speech' - and then her own books, which analyzed and therefore had to quote that type of speech, were banned under the law. Censorship is a two-edged sword, and not all people have the same beliefs.

A better idea is to keep in touch with your children - not just what they're doing on the Internet, but what they're doing in general. Be aware that the stress level on teenagers due to the myriad forms of constant communication now prevalent is much higher than it was even in the 1960's. There is no natural quiet time for teenagers - or, increasingly, even pre-teens - of the current generation. Try to understand the culture that your children live in; you will not be able to communicate with them if you don't understand the culture. Don't assume homeschooling will protect them; the recent murders in Lititz, PA point out that even that isn't a sure thing.

An internet site - especially one that's simply written words - can't -make- someone do anything. If it could, then Biblical sites would guarantee that everyone converted to Christianity. You've probably noticed that that hasn't happened. All an internet site can do is supply information about things that someone is already looking for. If you want to stop that... figure out how to make it so that your children will never think they have a reason to look for it in the first place. Help make changes in society so that people no longer feel as alienated from life.

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