The picture you see, has the printed version [The edited one] Below you can read the rough draft of the same article.
Parenting in the Virtual World.
For anything, wrong that happens to teenagers these days, adults have found out a perfect scapegoat. The Social Networking Websites. Its high time, they get out of their illusions and brace up to accept and change to this new technology that has invaded the Indian Households.
The trouble begins, with this term “Online Friend” In most of the Indian Household’s a girl’s online friend is interpreted as a terrorist. Literally. Who is he? He maybe a fake. What does he do? Where does he live? Volleys of questions are thrown up at the girl, which encourages her, to hide her virtual life as much as she can from her parents and family. The same happens with guys, but the problem is much more acute with girls. Parents don’t accept and like online chatting, online friends, orkut, yahoo etc.But the new generation that is growing up is attention deprived, and technology oriented. They find these websites as an interesting tool to be experimented. Friends, encourage and coax them often, and they jump in the bandwagon of social networking sites, interacting with their school friends, making new friends, exploring new frontiers opened up by these sites. Since their parents don’t like it, so they enclose themselves in a cocoon of the virtual world.
We have to realize that these websites are here to stay. Though they have age limit of 18 and above, yet teenagers easily get to make accounts, often more then one. I hear a lot of arguments these days that why cant these sites act strict for the age limit to be adhered. The simple answer is, there is no logic or method, by they can do it. No one gives birth certificates over the net. How can they know the person is above 18 or not? And if you think of banning them, then the question arises how many of the social networking websites will you ban? There is HI5, orkut, facebook, tagged, desimartini and God Knows how many. You ban one; others will fill the void as fast as they can.
So the best solution to this whole issue is that, parents accept the reality, that these social networking sites don’t spoil their kids, its they themselves, busy in their personal lives, who should carry the blame. Its is very important to acknowledge the fact that, in online chatting, it’s the brains that click. It’s not a face to face interaction. So most of the friendships happen due to strong mental bonding between two people. Instead of showing displeasure, of their online ventures, show confidence in them, try to seek knowledge from them about the advancements, happening on the net, so that you the parent should also be aware of what exactly your children are doing, instead of banishing their online friends, check out their profiles, and give friendly advices to your children. Encourage them to use blogging services over the net, to vent out their creative juices. Instead of alienating yourselves to your child’s virtual world, become a part of it, and have your say. I am sure your child won’t only like it, but also will respect your opinion.
Jai Shri Ram !!!