The Internet Is Not Disneyland; People Should Stop Demanding It Become Disneyland

of the bad ideas dept

Disneyland can be a fun experience for kids (and potentially frustrating for parents), but it’s a very controlled environment, with everything set up to bend over backwards to welcome kids. And that’s great for what it is, but the world would kind of suck if everything was Disneyland. I mean, some countries have tried that, and it’s… not great, especially if you believe in fundamental freedoms.

Here’s the thing: Disneyland’s borders are great for an occasional visit. As a vacation. But it’s not the real world. And we shouldn’t try to remake the real world in Disneyland. And I think it’s especially true that most parents don’t want to raise their children in Disneyland and then send them out into the real world at 18, assuming they’re fully equipped to deal with the real world.

But that is exactly what some enterprising politicians (with the support of the media) have attempted. They want to pass new laws that will effectively require the internet to behave like Disneyland. Everything must be safe for children. That means a lot more surveillance and a lot less freedom… but “safe for kids.”

Also Read :  STRANGERS Race RC CARS over the internet! #piday #raspberrypi @Raspberry_Pi « Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers!

Except it isn’t. Disneyland is fantasy land. It’s not real life. And we don’t teach children how to participate considerately in society when we raise them at Disneyland.

I recently had a discussion about these bills Things like California’s Age Approrate Design Code or Congressional Kids Online Safety Act where there are legitimate concerns that children are safe online, but it seems like we should think about the digital world the same way we think about the real world. Parents not only have a role to play in restricting where children can go when they are young, but also Giving children the toolsas they grow to deal with different situations.

Sometimes when I talk about this, people think I’m suggesting that parents should hover like a helicopter over their kids when they’re online or spy on everything they do online, but that’s not the answer either. This normalizes surveillance and teaches children that they are not trusted. Instead, parents (and school teachers) can help children learn age-appropriate Internet use. This gives them guidance on where it’s safe, but they also learn how they sometimes encounter unsafe areas on the internet with content not intended for them and learn how to deal with them appropriately.

Also Read :  CBN, NIBSS alarmed over rising Internet fraud

We already do this in the outside world where we try to teach children how to deal with different situations. when to be cautious around strangers; when to seek help from trusted adults. And of course when it is appropriate and when it is not appropriate for children to be anywhere with or without supervision. It’s called being a parent.

What we don’t do is insist that we have to turn every mall into Disneyland. We rely on parents to teach children how to deal with the real world at an age when they, the parents, decide what is appropriate.

Also Read :  Florida deaths rise to 47 amid struggle to recover from Ian

We can (and should) do the same with the Internet. Let children know that not everything online is right for them and teach them how to warn parents or other trusted adults when things are clearly not right.

Nothing is perfect, of course, and everyone can point to this or that horror story, but by and large this system has worked well in the outside world, and it can and should work well on the internet. We don’t need to turn the internet into Disneyland. We can and should teach our children how to use the internet appropriately, including how to use it when they encounter questionable situations. That’s actually teaching kids how to be real adults and how to deal with things, rather than raising them at Disneyland and expecting them to learn enough to deal with the outside world on their own.

Filed under: disneyland, for the children, internet, kids, kosa

Source link