Life of a Computer Age Child

April 5, 2010
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The computer age generation is made up of children that are born with the, almost, innate ability to use and misuse a computer. Most of these children get sucked into the vast interests of social networking websites; however, these websites are encumbering the children of the computer generation. These children are losing their face-to-face communication that almost every “grown-up” has associated their childhood with. Websites are removing these forms of conversing you and I have grown to know, and are removing the social abilities of the computer generation as well. These social networking websites are also the feeding ground for the sexual predators seeking young victims. These are the main reasons why I believe that children should avoid many of the social networking websites.

Facebook and Myspace are hampering the abilities of children to have a real conversation. Think about it, if a child spends an hour a day on one of these social networking sites, then that takes away from the hour a day that a child can learn how to make a new friend. Sure, kids can make friends by clicking the “add friend” button, but they will never really know them unless they meet the person in real life. No one can get the same social interaction on Facebook as they do in real life. A real conversation has tones that tell how a person is feeling during a conversation. If these tones are removes and the words are just read from a screen, then the reader can’t distinguish between sarcasm and intimacy. And if an adult can’t tell the difference, then how can one expect a child to know the difference in conversations. This form of nonverbal communication is confusing to most adults and this also doesn’t foster the appropriate behavior needed in a social environment.

Conversely, people argue that these social networking sites make it able for children to maintain their many connections. Some people say that they would never be able to keep relationships with people if it was not for their Facebook profile. Like alcohol, Facebook is good in moderation. Sure, Facebook can be used to rebuild connection with long lost relatives or it can be used to reconnect with a friend in a different state. However, once a person grows to a point where they are adding people they do not even know and are searching Facebook for hours looking for the funny post, then they have a Facebook addiction.

Another reason why children should stay away from social networking websites is that a child never really knows whom they are talking to; this is one of the main ways a child predator can get to his victims. In June of 2008, a man was convicted on the rape of nine different underage girls by using the social networking website MySpace. He was referred to as the MySpace Rapist and he was sentenced to 33 years in jail. He would befriend a young girl on MySpace by pretending to be a girl. He would then convince them that they should meet and he would rape them in a motel in the Salem area. This is an example of how the lackadaisical the system of protection is and how a child can be talking to someone they don’t even know.

Some people argue that the system of protection is getting better. They say that newer sites like Facebook have newer and improved ways to protect youngsters from the bad bad men who prey on them. But most of these provisions can be overturned by simply changing the settings. So, how can people say that the system is safer when a child can still gain access to all of the bad things in the internet world with a few clicks of the mouse? People may claim the system is better, but as far as I am concerned, it is still as flawed as before.

In my opinion, there is only one real way to help the computer generation get back to actuality. The children of the computer generation need to be removed from the computer and be put outside and be able to play with their peers. In real life, if you are talking to someone in the flesh, you know that that is the person you are talking to; so, why not try this with children. This will remove the predators from the equation because they should be talking to children of their own age, and it will also help these children learn how to make friends the old fashion way because they will have to in a face-to-face conversation.

To annunciate my point, no website is truly safe for children. All websites can be hacked and changed, and profiles can be hacked as well. Children are naïve and often too trusting towards strangers. Children also don’t have a fully developed sense of friendliness and of how to act in certain social situations, so, they should not be allowed to use social networking websites. Instead, they should be content with communicating within each other’s sight.





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Kiara goslin said...
Aug. 7, 2015 at 5:11 pm
This is amazing!!
 
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