BOY Do I Have Words To Say About Things (or Introducing Ninpo)
Hello there Landers! That’s you readers, by the way, I decided that regular members of a community should have a nickname and you don’t seem to have one. (Note to Big John: T-Shirts.)
I’m Ninpo, also known as Hacre in other circles…well one other circle (XDA) because a big meanie over there registered the name before me and despite me pointing out my importance they won’t just change him to user32056 and give me the name, how rude.
Anyway, a while before Christmas, Big John approached me and asked if I’d like to run a monthly editorial on the new Land of Technology site. I’d been harassing him to read various things I’ve written elsewhere every now and then, pasting him link after link and demanding feedback like an insecure anorexic swimwear model demanding to know if they look fat or not. It would appear his overall opinion is a good one, since here I am with my very own column!
The scope of this is for me to do what I do best…well, second best, what I do best wouldn’t be appropriate for a technology site. As the title of my introduction suggests, I have opinions, I’m not shy about them and people tend to either love what I’ve got to say or find themselves terribly offended by it.
So to ease you in, here for your reading pleasure (or disdain) is my first Land of Technology article…
The WAN That Rocks the Cradle
Over the years we’ve seen an explosive integration of technology in our daily lives. In my lifetime I’ve seen personal computers go from being the trappings of geeks to an in-home appliance no more out of place than a BluRay player or a stereo. Internet access has gone from a strange obsession of the isolationist to being at everyone’s fingertips and in most people’s pockets. It is fair to say that we are very much enjoying the Digital Age.
However, this does not change the fact that our Digital Age devices remain nothing more than tools: Tools of convenience, commerce, education and entertainment. Indeed, often a single device is all of these but the fact remains, they are simply tools.
What is a tool? A tool is something that simplifies or optimises a task that would otherwise be more time consuming should that task be carried out manually. Without a tool (stop sniggering at the back) I’d find myself inside a local library should I need to research anything, however with tools such as a personal computer or a smartphone I have multiple libraries’ worth of research at my fingertips. Technology is a wonderful thing which has in no doubt bettered our daily lives.
The thing is, despite being more accustomed to the Digital Age, many people find themselves regarding technology as a mystical and very clever thing. Technology possesses little to no actual intelligence and definitely has no moral code. Yet people still think that any task without exception that can be accomplished by technology should be.
Including child-rearing, apparently! Before Christmas I heard a news bulletin that sparked a mix of rage and gaping astonishment. The British government has for some time now been debating having Internet Service Providers filter against all pornographic content, on an opt-out basis.
Pardon me but what in the fucking greatest depths of Hades has possessed these people? I wouldn’t trust a hammer to supervise a child in a room full of power tools and I wouldn’t ask my fucking BMW to teach my child to cross the road. Why is it, then, that the more we advance our use of technology, the more I’m hearing things like the following:
“I just cannot understand how a random stranger started talking to my 12 year old on Facebook! Facebook should do something about this!”
“The internet is full of filth! Why just the other day I walked in on my 8 year old in their room and found them watching a woman be ejaculated on by at least a hundred men! This should not be allowed!”
“My 14 year old has spent over £45,076,894 on Facebook games and iPhone apps! From MY credit card! Why are there no safeties in place? They won’t even refund me!”
Look, fuckwits, a computer is no more capable of supervising your offspring and teaching them to not be stupid, entitled little shits than a toaster; so presumably you wouldn’t leave them in the bath tub with either. While porn filtering can be useful to stop the curious mind of the infant from stumbling upon something they shouldn’t see, it is absolutely no substitute for you getting off your fat arse, walking away from the television and actually overseeing your child’s access to the internet. If that is too much trouble for you then the computer that your child uses should be in your line of sight so you can at least glance over whenever a commercial break pops up during your incessant viewing of Twelve Talentless Wankers Cock About For Your Amusement.
Here’s a handy guide I’ve prepared for you to ensure your mini-you avoids the more depraved depths of the Internet:
- Children don’t need to be on Facebook. That includes you pouring every last gigabyte of your photos of them into your timeline accompanied with such treasured and insightful descriptions as “OMG SHE BLINKED LOOK!”. Think of the internet as a digital representation of the real world outside your home, rather than a projector screen for your camera. You wouldn’t plaster photos of your kids along the highstreet so don’t fucking do it on an electronic one.
- Children don’t need to be on Twitter. Twitter teaches children that anything they ever have to say can be said in 140 characters or less and that it’s fine to type and spell like an utter moron if what they have to say doesn’t fit into 140 characters.
- Children don’t need to sit on a computer playing games for hours upon hours. While I’m sure it’s great that you finally don’t have to change their pants and shove food in their mouths for them every few hours, your parenting didn’t stop the second they could work a fucking mouse. Talk to your child, entertain them and go outside. Often. Computers provide us a great many things however a fixed staple in your child’s development they are not. That’s why when this behaviour persists, they become socially retarded shut-ins that you’d wish would get a girl/boyfriend.
All your child needs to understand is that a computer is a tool. Help them use it as a tool for their school work or extra curricular activities then kick them out of the house to run around the garden until they bang their eye off a paving slab, thus learning a sense of danger and consequence.
The internet, just like the world outside, can be dangerous. If you cannot understand or accept this fact and act accordingly then you have no business being a part of either, much less ejecting a screaming newborn into the world.
There is no substitute for you giving a shit about your child. Computers are not parents nor are they caregivers. Neither is the government of the day, your ISP, your television, Facebook, Twitter or Google. You are. So stop expecting them to be.