Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Adults Just Don't Get It Man

Seriously. They really don't get it. And those in the media who think that they really do get it- they get it least of all. This was via this evenings local Fox newscast, although I don't know how long this link will last:

The Fox 61 News at 10 reports on a local educators meeting on the "controversial" website, MySpace.com.

When that link fails, you could also check out this local article:
Outreach Promotes Children's Internet Safety.

It's difficult to pay attention to a news piece which begins by calling MySpace a controversial website. It's sort of like calling cars, or the telephone controversial, because they were integral factors in some tragedy. Remember back in the 40's and 50's, when some parents thought it was improper (unsafe?) for their daughters to spend so much time talking on the phone? Well all the controversy now over teenagers and the internet is much of the same- people's fears being taken out on technology.

Teaching internet safety is, of course, a laudable goal. After all, the point is, parents should parent their kids, and exercise some degree of supervision over their lives. However, one gets the feeling that some of these "teachers," particularly these community policing types have no idea what they are talking about. As one of these types mentioned on the newscast, "teenagers should not have computers in their bedrooms." From 50 years ago a similar voice is echoing the same concerns about the telephone.

And of course, some concern is justified. But blaming the internet, blaming MySpace, and even all these educational options just serve to ignore the fundamental problem. Why is a 14 year old girl going to meet a strange older man in the first place? Discuss and debate how widespread these sorts of problems actually are- personally, the lonely libertarian thinks they are way overblown. The fact of the matter is, if you do believe that such a problem is widespread, then you have no choice to look at all the issues social conservatives love- immorality in the media, the decline of the family, ect.

Regardless, the media hasn't a clue. If the mainstream media can't even cover their own children correctly, one shudders to think the job they do at covering other parts of the country and other cultures around the world.


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