COMMENTARY: Children and the dangerous Internet Highway

Sep 13, 2021 at 03:30 pm by WGNS

Internet safety and our children - - with more, here is MTSU Professor Larry Burriss…




Verbatim: Would you let your 8-year-old walk down an unlit, unfamiliar street, knowing the child might get into trouble?

That is, in fact, what many parents are doing when it comes to the internet:  they are letting their children out on the information superhighway unaware of the dangers lurking there.

One of the solutions to these problems is that parents are limiting children’s access to both on-line and in-home gaming and information sites.  They are saying to their child, “You can have an hour or two for non-school computer access.”

But that’s like saying to the child, “You can eat anything you want for the next two hours; anything at all, whether it is good for you or not.”

If that sounds absurd, that is exactly what parents do when they turn their children loose, unsupervised, on the internet.

The fact is, parents need to act like parents, and take a direct interest in what their children are putting into their minds

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, however, offers some common-sense guidelines for children's computer use.

For example, the center recommends never giving out identifying information such as home address, school name or telephone number in a public message such as chat or bulletin board. 

Adults should think carefully before revealing personal information such as age, marital status or financial information.

Parents should get to know the services their children use.

If you don't know how to log on, get your child to show you. Find out what types of information it offers and whether it has ways for parents to block out objectionable material.

Never allow a child to arrange a face-to-face meeting with another computer user without parental permission. If a meeting is arranged, make the first one in a public place, and be sure to accompany your child.

We hear a lot about the cyber-community and virtual neighborhoods.  Well, new neighborhoods are springing up all around us.  And the rules for living in them are pretty much the same common-sense rules we should be using in our own communities and neighborhoods as well.

- I'm Larry Burriss.

About Dr. Burriss

Larry Burriss, professor of journalism, teaches introductory and media law courses. At the graduate level he teaches quantitative research methods and media law. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University (B.A. in broadcast journalism, M.A. in journalism), the University of Oklahoma (M.A. in human relations), Ohio University (Ph.D. in journalism) and Concord Law School (J.D.). He has worked in print and broadcast news and public relations, and has published extensively in both academic and popular publications. He has won first place in the Tennessee Associated Press Radio Contest nine times. Dr. Burriss' publications and presentations include studies of presidential press conferences, NASA photography, radio news, legal issues related to adolescent use of social networking sites, legal research, and Middle Earth.

Dr. Burriss has served as director of the School of Journalism, dean of the College of Mass Communication and president of the MTSU Faculty Senate. He was appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to serve on the Tennessee Board of Regents. He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and served on active duty in Mali, Somalia, Bosnia, Central America, Europe and the Pentagon.



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