Virtually Speaking

Second Life along with the First.

Underage, Online, and You

Take a few moments to read Allana Dion’s article over on her blog – she took a survey on how people view and react to issues of underage Second Life residents and relationships between adults and children.

It’s one of those topics that most people don’t feel too comfortable discussing, beyond “that’s creepy”. But it deserves some intelligent open-minded thought. My own gripe in this area is that our country has a bunch of self-righteous idiots making our laws and trying to over-regulate anything to do with sex, whether it’s rating sexual scenes in movies (while blood, gore and violence are pretty much ok) to getting all bent out of shape over pixel nudity in computer games. I honestly think some of them would outlaw sex altogether if it were possible. God forbid human beings ever have a natural drive to procreate.

My soapbox has always been one based on parental responsibility. My kids know that their personal computers are fair game anytime my husband or I want to check their hard drives or log their chats – or just walk in and look over their shoulder. If they’re doing something they don’t want us to know about, they shouldn’t be doing it. It’s a tough balance because we also try to respect their privacy, but in all things we make it clear that their safety comes before their right to privacy. When they’re adults they can have all the privacy they want.

More importantly, we try to instill two things that I believe are important survival skills for adults: critical thinking and self-respect. Without critical thinking you’ll buy any old fib someone feeds you, and very often end up feeling the fool – or worse, being harmed in some way. Without self-respect you’re more likely to have weak boundaries and find yourself unable to say “no” when you know you should.

It’s worked so far, knock on wood. My daughter is 18, has a 3.8 GPA and is getting acceptance letters from good schools. My son, who is 14, is still a work in progress. I’m afraid the little guy has too much of his Mom’s stubborness right now, and I’m working on ways to channel that into something positive.

As my folks told me, “Now you know what we had to deal with.” Thanks, Mom and Dad!


January 10, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment