Friday, January 05, 2007

Something I remembered today

I headed over to my mom's house today to help tye-dye some curtains. They didn't turn out so well, so I am heading back tomorrow morning to do another set.

While I was there we had a conversation about kids and the internet. People are always asking why we have our computer in our living room. I mean, my desk is cluttered and messy and not the nicest thing to look at most of the time, but I insist that this is where it stays.

Just about a year ago, we had signed our kids up for MSN Messenger, so they could chat with their friends and it is something fun to do. There was no problem with that. Then I helped my son set up a MySpace page (which has been dismantled now). I must have missed some settings and people could find his messenger name? I am not sure if that is how it happened or not...anyhow, back to the story.

I know all the passwords to this computer. The kids are not allowed on the internet unless we are here to supervise. If we are not around then they are only allowed on certain sites. They know that I can check everything they do and so far it has worked out well.

Someone had added my son to their messenger, and he wasn't sure who it was. So, I allowed them, knowing that a few people had his email address and the profile said that he was a kid in grade 3 or 4. When he signed on once he told me that this kid was online. So, I went to the messenger and typed in, asking who he was. He asked if we were in Mrs. So'n'so's grade 3 class. I responded no, and asked how old they were. I figured we would leave the person on the messenger, cause it was around the same age and thought it may be interesting to meet someone from elsewhere.

I was chekcing my sons email one day, before I allowed him onto it (my precautions...) and could not believe what I saw. It was full of vulgar and pornographic emails from this "kid". I immediately dismantled the MySpace page and blocked the address from the messenger, then I forwarded some of the email to MSN to let them know about this.

I don't think I realized how close we were to being one of those families on tv, pleading for their child to come home.

Please watch what your kids are doing on the net. If I hadn't been, who knows what would have been around the bend. My kids learned a HUGE lesson from this, we talked about what some people do on the internet and my kids have a healthy fear of where this technology could lead them if they are not careful...So, to everyone who ever wants to know, that is why our computer will always be in one of the main rooms in our house and there will never be internet hooked up in any bedrooms...


  1. You are wise. The internet can be a scary place.