Parents are getting paranoid about blogs, especially since they haven’t yet fully come to terms with instant messaging. The bloggers are getting younger day by day; apart from the serious pundits and demagogues that hog most of the attention and primetime television, the blogosphere has seen a distinct trending towards children turning bloggers. They aren’t posting anonymously either and sometimes going overboard by divulging too much personal information. While I am not a great fan of posting personal pictures online, you would hardly expect teenagers to be paranoid. Cynicism comes with age and especially if you are parents to a teenager who has a heightened awareness of the world’s ‘treasure trove’, then you have reason to be concerned. I have always been worried about people putting pictures of their children online because of the growing threat of pedophiles. Few bloggers that I read have sensibly password-protected their personal spaces in the past few months.
But as I think more about it, it hardly makes a difference. The world isn’t protected as much as we like to think. Children are going to keep things from their parents and hide stuff from them; it is simply part of growing up. Children who consider parents to be their best friends do not have enough friends or are afraid to trust anyone. However, parents can only hope to keep the channels of communication open and make it clear that they rather hear about their children’s activities from them rather than from someone else. At least, I was brought up with this expectation — Do what you want and tell us stuff, if you think we should know. The internet has succeeded in giving children an added avenue to explore their need to communicate with their generation. Blogging is only the latest in such measures. Blogs can be a good thing since they offer a mature medium to communicate with your peers and expand your social network. If parents fail to adopt the Internet as a learning medium and only harp on its negative aspects, they are seriously undermining their children’s future prospects.