NET TRAP

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Read what a high school student recently boasted,” Staying up late at night in the internet is the best time I ever have. After a while, it was all I wanted to do, all I thought about. In the chat rooms I converse with so many new friends. Blogs help me get recognized in the net world.”

 A Former Maths and Science Whiz kid, this particular student allowed her grades to crash before recognized that her new obsession was sabotaging her goals.

A Growing concern for parents today is Internet Addiction. And parents do have a right to worry, because spending too much time online is getting linked to obesity, social isolation and other disorders.

Social net working sites like Face book have never been more popular. Could it be that students are avoiding a text book by logging on to Face book? In a few interactive sessions with my students, I discovered many of them to be obsessed with Face book. They were unanimous in believing that while face to face communication may actually limit complete self expression, social net working offers unabashed freedom to give vent to their feelings. Many declare they spend a lot of time just customizing their page. And then they religiously follow their friends and connect with new people. Face book is more an addiction than a networking tool.

On wonders if parents are aware that the legal age at which one can connect to Face book is 18 years. Parents’ Control and monitoring over the child’s net based activities are absolutely a must.

During  a recent meet parents, one despairing parent candidly admitted that  the three ‘F’ s that were consuming most  of her daughter’s time were Face book, Friends and (F) phone, with Face book topping the list.

It is indeed acknowledged that internet is a great form of technology that helps everyone to expend the horizons of knowledge. The amount of resources and information the internet contains is astounding. However, left alone children can tend to misuse it. Since today’s school goers become computer savvy at an early age. Exposure to what is undesirable may set in early. Hence parents ought to visit the sites commonly accessed by their children to ensure whether they are appropriate or not. Even the location of the computer can make a big difference .If located in a secluded corner of a room, which is not a high traffic area, then the child is perhaps getting unwarranted privacy to access sites not meant for him.

Restricting children’s ‘computer time’ and making sure they play outdoors, read good books and engage in cultural activities can wean them away form net addiction. Installing Filtering or Blocking soft ware also helps in preventing children form accessing restricted sites.

Before serious negative repercussions set in, excessive internet use has to be relentlessly curbed.

G.Vijayalakshmi

Teacher

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