Friday, 4 April 2014

Internet and Gaming Safety

With younger and younger children using Social Media and the Internet, Dorothy thought some sensible advice might come in handy for her readers.

The Internet is a fantastic place, where you can find out almost anything! Unfortunately, the search engines (like Google) don't know how old you are, and when you search on the internet, you might not get back results which are appropriate for you.

Your parents will probably have downloaded some software to keep you safe - it might slow down your online experience but it is worth it. Believe me, there is some unpleasant stuff out there. Just like when you go to a bookshop, you would search in the appropriate section - software like Norton Internet Safety tries to keep you in the right section of the Internet.

Not everything you read on the internet will be true. Just because it is in print, it doesn't mean it has been checked. Look at me - I am writing this to you and you don't even know I am telling the truth! It's really important to CHECK what you read. Books are different, they are sold by companies called publishers who have to check their content carefully.

Social Media sites are really for young adults and adults. Yes really! That is why there is are age restrictions on most of them. Your older brothers and sisters might not be happy if some of their friends are allowed to get around these but such rules really are there for your safety. You cannot EVER be certain that people are who they say they are online, and pictures can be changed using software like "Photoshop". It's quite easy to do and it happens all the time. That *really* cool pop band might have been completely changed to look different for example, so trying to look like them might be completely unrealistic.

Many older children and teenagers forget to play outside, engage with *real* people as they are caught up in messaging friends. Whilst Snapchat is accessible for younger children, it's not necessary for anyone at primary school to be on social media - there is far more fun to be had playing with your friends, getting outside, being creative or playing sports. You have YEARS ahead of you working with computers, being dependent on mobile phones and your childhood is an incredibly precious time.

The same is true for video games. There are some amazing games out there, which are age rated for a reason. It is NOT cool to be playing your older brother or sister's games below the recommended age. Grown ups have thought long and hard about which age is right for each game and didn't make snap decisions over the ratings.

In America there was some recent research to show children under 12 really shouldn't own, or have access to mobile devices or gadgets. It's here if your parents want a read. Using them can cause considerable problems:-

  • makes it harder to sleep
  • can make you more angry
  • you become too focussed on the game/gadget
  • you are not healthy and become overweight
  • it can increase your daily dose of radiation, which is never a good thing
  • overuse can cause problems with concentration
  • your natural brain development can actually be slowed and you are not as clever!

The internet can bring a lot of fun, as can computer games, but these should be limited. Life doesn't always have to happen in short bursts which is how we experience it through computers. Life is for living and enjoying, for taking slowly and learning and enjoying the journey, not just focussing on a quick result!

1 comment:

  1. It's so hard to tear kids away from a screen - technology is everywhere! How I long sometimes forvthe days where you just opened your doors and threw your kids out for the dsy! Very different times!
    Good post :)


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Dorothy xx