31 March 2014

Can we all calm down a little?

Warning: Wearing Them
Today's big topic of conversation is about the danger of posting about your children- either information or pictures - online and how they might hate you when they are older and how there are millions of sick perverts stealing the innocence of your children by liking the pictures and how they might track them down using geolocational technology and kidnap them to make money or for other nefarious purposes.

All that is probably possible.  In the same way as being hit by lightning, winning lotto or being killed by a stingray are all possible.

But hugely unlikely.

You're not that important.  Probably.  You're not.  I'm not being an arse here.  The only people that are likely to be interested in what you post about your children are your friends and family.  Unless you're a blogger or a writer or the such like in which case it's a wider community.  Which is lovely, but the vast majority of the human race is not out to get you or your children.  They really are not.

People can be dicks. Even calling them trolls annoys me a little because why create titles for dicks?  But mostly, people aren't perverts looking to manipulate your images of little Johnny running a race.  Yes, you have to be careful and if you are that poor chap who posted a photo of his kid in the bath, without checking his security settings - bet you won't do that again.

Mistakes are made.  That does not mean the 1000 people that liked it are out to get the child.  They were probably thinking 'aw cute'.  This mob mentality and scaremongering really shits me.  If  you look at a picture of a child online and think about paedophilia INSTANTLY - I'm more worried about why this topic occupies your mind above all others when they are FAR more likely to be injured in a car accident when you fail to give way adequately.

And if we're making mass assumptions that everybody is some kind of twisted sicko, why aren't we banning dog pictures in case everybody is into bestiality?  Why not assume that when people see pictures of your face they totes want you in a sexual manner?  Why not assume that when somebody likes a picture of an elderly chap on a boat they are working out ways to scam his money?

Why not?  Because you'd sound like an idiot.

Technology, social media and the online world are part of both the present and the future.  Not using it doesn't make it go away, only looking at the things that go wrong doesn't make it go away, your children not being on it is not going to make it go away.

So stop it.  Take a chill pill and get some perspective.  As a parent you make choices for your children - online and offline - that work for you.  Mistakes may happen.  Bad things may happen.  But not because of anything you did.  People that choose to be dicks, choose to be dicks regardless.  You have no more control over that than you do over possibly being hit by lightning one day.

Stop sitting around yelling 'THE SOCIAL MEDIA IS BADS FOR MY KIDLETS' and actually get out there and demonstrate good online behaviour.  Fix your security settings, think about what you post and remember that you're creating a history for your child that is probably far more accurate than your memory.  Which for all of us but Pamela Anderson, is probably not a bad thing.  It's storytelling people, an act as old as time itself.

And if you don't want to - don't.  But stop with the obsession with perverts.

Concentrate on your world around you.  Look after the things that might actually happen.  And for the love of Roscoe Arbuckle - start giving way properly.  And turn on your bloody lights.