Kids get­ting caught in net

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Letters -

If you are ever stuck for a con­ver­sa­tion among fel­low par­ents, try this as an open­ing line: “Thank God I grew up be­fore the in­ter­net was in­vented.”

The out­pour­ing of shared feel­ings on this will be some­thing to be­hold. Aus­tralians of a cer­tain vin­tage now look back on their in­ter­net-free youth as a truly golden age. It was a time that, in the dig­i­tal era, can never be repli­cated.

For the same rea­sons those par­ents feel blessed to have avoided any on­line pit­falls dur­ing their child­hoods, they have deep con­cerns about the ef­fects of on­line cul­ture on their own chil­dren. Th­ese con­cerns were once pri­mar­ily re­lated to pri­vacy and the dan­ger of on­line sex preda­tors. But as the on­line world be­comes ever more an em­bed­ded com­po­nent of daily life, other con­cerns emerge.

Ex­perts now warn that over­shar­ing on­line images of chil­dren may be putting them at risk of long-term men­tal health or self-es­teem is­sues.

“Images posted now could be very chal­leng­ing for teenagers and young adults to deal with in the fu­ture,” one au­thor­ity told The Daily Tele­graph.

Par­ents must re­main vig­i­lant. Child­hood is too pre­cious to risk.

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