Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Word of Warning: Cyberspace Deception

I have said before that I was scared of the world our children will be living in.
I really didn't mean in a technological sense.....
Technology and the modern life are wonderful.
I am a huge computer geek- all things "techie" and I agree that it makes our life more productive and fun.
I know there are many dark sides to the Internet, but have recently witnessed some things first hand that really have disturbed me. They were such serious situations involving the inter-tangling of technology and feelings and lives...

So I wanted to put out a few words of caution to the parents out there whose children spend hours on the Internet- not looking at porn, just doing the normal my space, instant messaging thing. We know not to let our children out of our sight in public places. We feel that they are safe in our homes, we walk by and look over their shoulder, see no profanity or nudity and assume all is OK. But they are out of our sight and in a world full of people, just as it we left them at a mall, unattended for hours, to talk to strangers in disguise.
People are not honest.
I am honest- truthful- upfront. Not everyone is.....
People are not who they may claim to be. In many ways and online as well.

I have been hearing about cyber-bullying and harassment and thought that is was isolated incidences where teens were unsupervised and were unstable to begin with.
Not so.
I thought the 2 cases I heard about on the news were isolated, distant cases.
Not so.

A person can be anyone they choose in an online profile.
Not just sexual predators of an adult age.
Emotional predators of the worst kind-young adults and teens trying to hurt one another.

A new friend made. Life stories are exchanges. Love is built. Even pictures are sent.
And emotions are charged. Even a suicide, abuse...a heart breaking stories.
All lies.
But a friend met a friend that knows the new online friend- they are not talking to a stranger. Someone they never met, but really feel as if they know.

Check the facts.
Search myspace, track emails, search databases for the people if need be....
Your children's privacy is important, but their emotional and physical well-being is your most precious possession. Do not leave their online business alone. Know their passwords.
Do not assume all is OK.
Be informed.
If you are not informed, get informed--- make it a point to learn about all the computer stuff that your kids know about that you have not cared to learn.
And yes, make the kids get off the virtual world and live in the real one.
Interact with real, loving people. Go places. Get outside.
Make sure your children have all they need in real life as far as emotional and spiritual support and interaction so they do not look for acceptance and love on a computer screen.
Male, disturbed, sexual Predators are not just luring our young people out for sexual meetings and exploitations.
Mean-spirited teens and young adults are luring emotions out for trampling in cyberspace.
I am all for connecting and meeting friends online- obviously!
I am all for our young people using and having Internet access with all the bells and whistles.

We just have to teach them a hard lesson- a lesson that I do not like or even want to accept as an adult.
People are not honest. People do and will lie for no reason other than to do harm.
This is true in social daily interaction and is also true in our virtual world.
Both equally as hurtful and dangerous.

Ephesians 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him

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