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Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself. And the Internet of Course.

October 21, 2012 6 comments

The only thing we have to fear is…fear itself.

The famous quote was made by Franklin D. Roosevelt during his first inaugural speech in March, 1933 just after taking the presidential oath. Most people heard Roosevelt’s speech on the radio. Television was barely getting its footing. Personal communication was conducted by a group of operators working a local switchboard and there was nothing personal about it. Most telephone systems had party-lines with two to four households on the same circuit.

Callers were urged to be brief and courteous — no eavesdropping.

There was no such thing as a cell phone. Texting was nonexistent. Clearly, Roosevelt had never surfed the net. In fact, it would be nearly 50 years before the internet would be introduced and another 40 after that before it would literally explode, offering access to everyone, to information, places and spaces one could only dream of in 1933.

Email. Skype. Twitter. Facebook. Pinterest. OoVoo. Blogging. YouTube. Flickr. Wiki. MySpace.

People need people. Social media forums on the internet are emerging as we speak, providing a wide variety of venues for us to communicate thoughts and ideas, to share with one another.

Like the Black Hole the internet expands well into the vastness of the unknown, certainly my unknown. Its realm is daunting. It can and to a certain degree should be, considered a scary place, especially to those of us who grew up painstakingly practicing our cursive writing and memorizing the proper finger placement on a typewriter’s keyboard.

Every innovation has its resistors and no matter what is said or done, some of us will never be able to wrap our heads around the possibilities but for parents and educators alike, it would be negligent to ignore it. Children are curious sponges. They learn and adapt as they grow. For the most part, they are unaware of the dangers that lurk in the minds and hearts of unkind people who also have access to these many social forums.

We have a choice. We can try to hide ourselves and them from the evils of the internet or we can, if not embrace it, at least try to understand the workings of these new forums so that we can help our youth explore them and use them safely with meaningful purpose and a sense of responsibility.

Scientia potentia est ~

Knowledge is power.

The internet is not going away. It is ever-growing and changing how and where we communicate, forever. Our children will learn from it, work and play on it. No doubt their footprints will be embedded in code for who knows how many future generations to see.

Who would push a child into the on-coming traffic of a busy highway leaving them to fend for themselves?

We don’t have to agree or like it but we would be remiss not to educate ourselves the best we can with these new technologies. With knowledge we can prepare our children; arm them, take them by the hand and guide them safely across this super-highway that will inevitably encourage them to leave their digital mark on society.

Photo Creidt #1: Switchboard Operators/GoogleImages

Photo Credits #2: Social Media/GoogleImages

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