The issue of whether the internet should not be used by the children has been globally debated. It is a crucial topic since the internet provides children with unlimited information which are essential in education and communication but that information is also the pathway for the children to be exposed to serious risk. This essay will highlight reasons why parents should not ban their children from using the internet.
Firstly, Healey (2011, p. 29) argues that children who go online might straightforwardly access unsuitable information available on the internet. He claims that once children’s computers are connected to the network, the computer could receive any unwanted features easily such as rude words and pornographic images. Nonetheless, the internet provides large amounts of educative information which might be beneficial tool for children to improve their reading skills (Raising Children Network, 2012). Moreover, in Australia, statistics show that during a 12-month period before April 2009, there are a massive 85% of children who used the internet for their academic necessities (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013). In addition, it is asserted that educational purposes were the first reason why children in Australia go online (Livingstone, Haddon, Görzig & Ólafsson, 2011). Despite children’s accessibility to the unsuitable materials, essentially, the internet stores valuable information for children’s education.
Furthermore, it has been argued that the majority of children who have SNS accounts do not have skills in managing their privacy and personal data (Livingstone et al., 2011). However, children can still protect their personal information by giving out details like names and photos from the online social accounts (Department of Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy, 2011; Healey, 2011). Additionally, Facebook has announced since August 2012 that the users can protect their personal data from being hacked by sending reports to @fb.com, an email address phish which is designed as a new reporting tool for any stolen information (New protections for phishing, 2012). Therefore, considering the fact that SNSs provide privacy protection tools, it seems that children can communicate and socialize with their peers safely.
Thirdly, Livingstone et al. (2011) assume that children who are restrictively regulated in using internet by their parents might have less chance to be harmed. These scholars hypothesize that those children are not exposed to cyber bullying. Nevertheless, as Raising Children Network (2012) and Healey (2011) state, children can be controlled by their parents for using the internet in a communicative way by providing them with adequate knowledge about safe use of the internet. What is more, parents can help their children to be safe when they go online by taking time to sit beside them in front of the computer and control how they use the internet (Hankin, 2012). Although restrict children when online could reduce the possibility of them being exposed to serious risks, parental mediation is still the recommended approach to keep the children safe.
In conclusion, although thousands of unwanted materials are available on the internet, there are large amounts of educative material for the children. Parents can monitor their children’s online activities with communicative approaches. The internet also enables children to improve their communication skills by using SNSs; therefore, children should be allowed by their parents to use the internet. If they are banned, they will suffer from digital disability in accessing information.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). (2011). Australian social trends June 2011: Children of the digital revolution (Cat. no. 4102.0) Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/socialtrends
Department of Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy. (2011). Protecting yourself online: What everyone needs to know. Retrieved from http://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/21562/Protecting-Yourself-Online-What_Everyone_Needs_to_Know.pdf
Hankin, A. (2012, February 2). How can schools and families help children stay safe online? [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://blog.staysmartonline.gov.au/2012/02/02/how-can-schools-and-families-help-children-stay-safe-online/
Healey, J. (Ed.). (2011). Issues in society: Social impacts of digital media. New South Wales, Australia: The Spinney Press.
Livingstone, S., Haddon, L., Görzig, A., & Ólafsson, K. (2011). Final report EU Kids online. Retrieved from http://www.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/research/EUKidsOnline/EU%20Kids%20II%20%282009-11%29/EUKidsOnlineIIReports/Final%20report.pdf.
New protections for phishing. (2012). In Facebook. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-security/new-protections-for-phishing/10150960472905766
Raising Children Network. (2011). Internet safety. Retrieved from http://pdf.raisingchildren.net.au/pdf.aspx.