Sunday, November 12, 2006

Newsflash Fox may not actually be the Spawn of Satan

Fox news aired this piece about the dangers of kids being able to access the internet using a Playstation Portable (PSP) and a wireless network:
In case the link doesn't last it is a fairly sensationalist piece pointing out that many parents don't know that kids can use a PSP to surf the internet away from parental supervision. It goes on about pornography a bit and it also mentions the dangers of internet predators. DEspite its sensationalist nature the article does give some useful information it ends with some pretty sound advice for parents.

This piece has come in for general lampooning on you tube and on internet forums. Among internet using , forum posting liberally minded people (of whom I am one) anything from Fox news is often regarded with derision because Fox supports George Bush. Also anything suggesting greater control of the internet is also likely to be criticised. Finally anything criticising a cool gadget like the PSPS is also rejected.

However as a parent I thought the piece was pretty goood. I responded to a forum topic saying as much but I seemed to be the only one of that view. Anyway for what it is worth here is the reply I posted on the forum:

I thought the piece was actually quite good and informative

I know Fox news are the spawn of Satan and all that and sure they milked the story for sensationalism but the the core point is well made and the advice they give at the end is spot on.

As a parent I know that the internet can be a dangerous place and I would not be comfortable for young kids to have unmonitored access to it - no more than I would be comfortable to let young kids wander the streets of Dublin on their own.

A PSP can be used to access the internet via a wireless network. A lot of parents may be unaware of this and due to the portable nature of the device its use is much harder to monitor. This does expose children to additional risk.

The advice at the end of the video was spot on: Talk to your kids, know what they are doing and set up controls. One correspondent highlighted the importance of building your kids self esteem to make them less vulnerable to predators. All of this is very sound parenting advice.

I can't believe I am the only poster around here who has kids. How come everybody sneered at this pretty decent piece of journalism. Is it just not politically correct to like anything that comes out of Fox news ???

I think this topic is going to run and run in its widest sense. Pretty soon now we will all have access to the internet from anywhere at any time via phones, watches, Ipods or what have you. Parents will need to learn to deal with the new reality that this brings about.
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