Monday, September 27, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Cara: Information Super in the fast lane?

Talking with "old" friends the other night about how cool it is for our kids today to be able to talk to each other all day long via texting and facebook. We didn't have the convenience of texting a few words and a whole plan coming together. They really do the same things we did, just now they have it so much better.

 We had to pass notes which took time to write in the first place. Then we had to take the chance of getting caught passing it. They talk/text to God knows what hours into the night. We couldn't do that. I know in my house we had one phone attached to the wall in the kitchen with a really long cord. You could bring it into the basement stairs to have a "private" conversation. But you couldn't call your friend's house or visa versa at midnight and have the phone ring and wake people up and get caught!

They don't have to plan to meet someone somewhere, have the friend not show up and be left wondering where they are. They just call/text and it's done.

You can take pictures and upload them instantly to Facebook (and tweek them a little...cut a person out etc...) or send them in a text. You didn't have to take 400 pictures, bring the film to the drug store pay $$$$ to have them printed quickly only to find out 350 of the 400 are of the floor, everyone had their eyes closed or looked blurry.

While this is all cool, I wonder sometimes if they have it that great. Today you can't call your parents and say you are somewhere that you are not with Caller ID. If we wanted to we could put GPS on their phones and know their every move. My friend recently posted pictures of us and some friends on Facebook, from a night out. Three other people who were not there, told me they recognized people in the background. I hope those people were where they were supposed to be otherwise they are in big trouble. Back in the day those other people would never have seen a picture of me.

There's a thing online called FormSpring, that I was talking about with a Middle School guidance counselor the other night. (I could have the name wrong...??) I don't like it. It really equates to what we called back in the day a "slam book".

But ours was much less technologically advanced. It was usually a composition notebook where each page had a person's name on it. People wrote sometimes anonymously sometimes not what they thought of that person. It could get ugly. We passed it around all day in Junior High and made sure we didn't get caught otherwise everyone in that book was getting in huge trouble. Now if someone wrote something really bad about you, you could have ripped out the page...the end. Not to say that it wasn't mean 'cause it was. Now though you can go online at night, in your own home and write really nasty stuff about people on their page on that website. And it's there for all of cyberspace to see...forever. I read about a girl that committed suicide over that website. Scary stuff.

I was lucky that my two older kids were younger when all this started to come about. There wasn't even Facebook when they were too young to have one. But I do have an 8 year old that thinks he should get a Facebook account. No dice. And when the day comes that I do let him have one I will have his password and monitor what he is doing, like I did to the older ones on emails and MySpace. I will stay computer literate so that I have a clue what's going on. Do I think he may be one step ahead of me all the time? Probably. But I will be on his heels every step of the way.

It's a little scary now what's out there that these kids can get their hands on. Sometimes I think it's the same stuff our parents had to deal with. Sometimes I think it's the same stuff but on steroids.

The Information Super Highway can be long as you ride in the middle lane I think.


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