I consider myself fairly internet savvy. I mean, I have a blog, I tweet, I Facebook, all that stuff. I know about Nigerian princes and have a good idea of how people act when they are anonymous (dreadfully.)
My kids' school held an internet safety seminar last week held by the good people at Childrenonline.org. Let's just say I'm now ready to move my family to a yurt in rural Nepal.
My kids are not online yet. They've played a few games, but mostly screen time is limited to weekends, and between fencing and tournaments and blah blah blah, our weekends are overscheduled (which is a completely different problem.) But. See it, right there on the horizon? It's coming.
Popular with the tween set is Addicting Games, I can see why. Hundreds of games from which to choose, and all free! And it's run by Nickelodeon, so great, right? Sure! Unless you walk in the room and, what's this? Cartoon naked ladies? Why, it's Perry the Perv! A hero for all young lads! Here's a description:
Oh nice. Thanks Nickelodeon, where a kid can be a kid. Or a perv. Whatever.
Also on a few fun gaming sites are banner ads for Chatroulette, which is, of course, entirely kid friendly, what with the penises and all. Come on in to my home! Check out my kid!
For research purposes, of course I had to check it out. And, well, I was curious. Unsolicited advice for those wondering about Chatroulette: don't. Just...don't. Here are the Cliff's Notes version, so you don't need to have these images taking up space in your brain. Ew.
Things I saw on Chatroulette:
--Boobs (Big ones!)
--A person of questionable gender wearing a Mardi Gras mask.
--Men diddling with their pants off (several.)
--A tween girl (Where are your parents, young lady?)
--Couples making out (again, several. What the hey?)
--A skinhead with a rebel flag behind him, flipping me the bird.
Not my thing.
So now I'm trying to come up with some ground rules for my daughters. Rules I know they will break and see all this stuff anyway. Oh boy.
What are your thoughts on all this? If you have kids, are they online? How do you handle it in your house? And, is it possible to get a manicure in Kathmandu?
*Click on the pronunciation button to hear someone who sounds very much like Colin Firth saying "moobs." I giggle at this stuff because I am immature.
ETA: @PauloCamposInk forwarded me Jon Stewart's take on Chatroulette. Yep, that's about it!