Sounding like something from Bop It Extreme, the government today announced a new initiative for educating children about webuse as part of the ‘Click clever, Click safe’ campaign. We will start to see ‘Zip it, block it, flag it’ in advertising from February next year with classroom education beginning in 2011. This seems timely, coming as it does with the full co-operation of many of the leading applications and social media organisations. And I was pleased to hear the tone of contributors to the morning media stressing that webuse has so much capacity for good as well as for evil. Undiluted scaremongering will only produce paranoid parents and unbelieving children, a more conversational educative approach about managing their online selves will be much more healthy for all in the long-term.
I wonder how much we are helping one another in the confines of the church on this. It’s not easy being the first one to raise a head above the parapet on matters of internet pornography, cyber bullying and sexting because as parents we may look out of touch or like we’ve got a problem in one of these areas, too. In other words, our pride stands in the way of openness which would liberate and protect. So let’s ditch the ‘I’m pretending to be sorted’ act and instead replace it with ‘We’re all a bit of a mess… but here’s something which might be useful’. Maybe we love each other enough to do that.