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Effing internet

(40 Posts)
ellieding Tue 04-Nov-14 23:37:00

Ok, here's the deal. I really hate the internet, I resent the poisonous crap I'm going to have to/already have to navigate in order to keep my kid safe, I hate ads, I hate youtube (safety does bugger all), I hate lots of the imagery I see etc etc. I think the accessibility of violent and explicit material is a crime against children and I think smartphones should have an age restriction of 17 and I don't know why they let them have them in school. I find it so depressing and I feel utterly hopeless against the system. It makes me want to homeschool as I just find it so anxiety inducing. The average age for a child to see pornography is 11. The government is doing little to nothing to prevent this. I would like some reassurance from people in the midst of it (maybe with young teens) or an idea of whether people would support a petition for an age restriction on smartphones.

ellieding Tue 04-Nov-14 23:52:32


WestmorlandSausage Wed 05-Nov-14 00:00:09

you know you had to use the internet to share that thought with us right?

The problem isn't the internet, its the people who put shite on the internet.

Rather than age limits on smartphones perhaps people just don't buy smartphones for children?

mommy2ash Wed 05-Nov-14 00:01:48

surely it's up to you what you buy for your child and when?

ellieding Wed 05-Nov-14 00:10:43

mommy2ash - Yeah, like fags and booze. I feel like they're appropriate at about age 8. I also think horror films are fine for 5 year olds!!!! Why are smartphones so different? Clearly guidelines, laws and regulations are everywhere for a reason, just ironically no restrictions for some of the most explicit material you'll ever have the misfortune to find! I really can't get my head around how people are alright with it.

caroldecker Wed 05-Nov-14 00:18:45

But 5 year old cannot buy smartphones, only the parents. So you ban smartphones and i will come round to your house and demand changes to how you raise your children.

ellieding Wed 05-Nov-14 00:25:36

Hm, right ok this is apparently the wrong time of night to engage with people on mumsnet given the insight and comprehension displayed here. Please don't give yourselves conniptions by giving it any further thought.

WalkingInMemphis Wed 05-Nov-14 00:28:04

So homeschool and don't buy your dc a smartphone.

I really don't see your point. At all.

If you're so against the internet, why are you using it?

MrsTerrorPratchett Wed 05-Nov-14 00:43:31

There is an issue. Even if you don't buy your child a smart phone, they will have friends with them, and they probably will see porn and violent things on the internet. It's not 'the internet' as such. If you just let children wander into any cinema at any time, they would see things they shouldn't. The 'internet' is not the issue, but children's access to it. I don't know what the answer is but being shitty to the OP, who has valid concerns about this, probably isn't the answer.

Children see, before they are able to cope with it, very violent porn, bestiality, anal, BDSM etc. When studies are conducted about when children averagely see what, it makes me angry and despairing by turns.

What is the answer?

ellieding Wed 05-Nov-14 00:47:31

Thank god, a voice of reason and someone who cares about child welfare. I thought it was meant to be parents on here!

NerfHerder Wed 05-Nov-14 01:01:48

I thought the govt had made all ISPs have pornography as an opt-in only now?
So you have to agree to receive pornographical material/visit pornography sites.

No schools I know of allow pupils to have their phones on in school. Phones are confiscated, and parents have to collect them.

How old is your child?
If you don't like advertising, don't let your children see it.
We don't have television, and do not allow our children to access the internet without us present (they're in primary school), and not youtube etc, as the comments are utterly vile usually, and unsuitable for small children. Heck- I can't MN with them around now they're reading.

You are in control of what your children access. You choose whether to purchase a phone for them. There are still phones available on PAYG that can send/receive messages, and calls, but have no internet capability.

Inboxer Wed 05-Nov-14 02:01:13

I think op has valid concerns. Before I became a parent I thought the internet was amazing but now it's utterly terrifying. Unfortunately having a medium where anyone can do or say anything has shown us how ugly human nature can be. Other posters are right when they say that it's the people using it not the medium itself which is to blame. Whilst the internet can be a great source of entertainment, information and support - it also means our children are potentially exposed to a torrent of messages and images all the time. I do worry about dd seeing things before she's mentally ready and also about the boys she gets involved with whose perceptions of sex and relationships have been warped by the Internet.

I can sympathise with your feelings of powerlessness but there are of course things you can do to protect your child that have already been stated and I'm sure many parents would support a campaign for an age limit on smartphones. You might feel less powerless if you joined or started a campaign that might effect change.

We are in the digital age and it's a very hard time to be a parent but I think that the best thing you can do for your child is prepare them, protect them and support them so they can deal with the world they live in.

Andrewofgg Wed 05-Nov-14 05:23:53

People said the same about the printing press and photography and the digital camera. The internet is here, porn and violent imagery and holocaust denial and all, and parents have to cope without outsourcing their responsibilities to the State or the ISPs or anybody else.

skylark2 Wed 05-Nov-14 09:15:33

Before it was smartphones and online porn, it was adult magazines and videos.

If you don't want your DD to have a smartphone, don't buy her one. My son doesn't have one. As a parent, there will - or should - always be things that other parents have said yes to and you say no to. Part of being a parent is that sometimes you are where the buck stops. Your child can't have a smartphone because YOU say so. There doesn't have to be a global rule about it for you to have one.

Norfolkandchance1234 Wed 05-Nov-14 09:30:30

I understand OP concerns. I am starting to get a bit anxious for when my DD and DS go to secondary school and will eventually have to have whatever phones all the other kids will have otherwise they will just be isolated and cut off from what's going on. It's all the bullying you hear about that's my worry. I'm sure my 2 will cope with whatever is thrown their way as they are definitely not wrapped up in cotton wool and are aware from watching the news of what atrocities there are in the world. Although I will suddenly switch off the TV is there are any nasty stories re child abuse. I don't think restricting access is the answer, just learning how to deal with it and what to ignore.
My friends DS age 14 was starting to play some violent Xbox game and came to let us know that my DS age 9 was in the room and that it wasn't appropriate. Kids are not stupid and will more than not have the decency to see what's right or wrong. My kids only ever go to kids on Netflix so they don't watch something inappropriate, as it's being ingrained upon them to be careful on the Internet at school and home.

ellieding Wed 05-Nov-14 09:37:52

Obviously I am the sort of parent who restricts what my child sees, I think that might have gone without saying!

How do we protect children from the other kids with smartphones? How do we prevent other children inadvertently becoming abusers because of the stuff they are exposed to (there are now plenty of studies to back up the 'it harms' theories)? Why should I have to engage with some of the most obscene concepts and media because adult hedonism comes before child welfare?

I have teacher friends in secondary school. The children are allowed to use their phones except in lesson and they have access to youtube on school computers (youtube filter does bot-all!). To me this is utterly farcical.

I think people are scared of standing up to this lest they are ridiculed as Mary Whitehouse types.

ellieding Wed 05-Nov-14 09:41:08

And I don't rate the 'it used to be porn mags', 'people were scared of the printing press' arguments. Like I haven't thought of that. I think it's baloney; there is nothing like the internet.

hackmum Wed 05-Nov-14 09:43:43

OP, I agree this is a problem. Of course you can refuse to buy a smartphone for your child but that isn't easy when all their friends will have one and will be using them to communicate outside school through social media etc. And even if you don't get them a smartphone, you will at some point have to get them a computer because secondary schools now expect homework to be researched on the internet and written up using a word processor.

And of course other kids will share stuff on their phones - when my DD was in year 7, another girl tried to get her to look at some 18+ pornographic game on her (the girl's) iPhone.

NorwaySpruce Wed 05-Nov-14 09:45:36

I homeschool, I would find it a lot more difficult without the internet!

The whole world is open to us, viewpoints I might not agree with are there for anyone to read. That is a good thing.

My children are educated in reasonable use of the net, once they are grown, they will be able to choose for themselves what they look at. That is as it should be.

ellieding Wed 05-Nov-14 09:46:54

Yes, it's grooming these kids to inadvertently abuse. The kid that tried to expose your child to pornography is not responsible for that, she is a child. The school, the parents and the government are responsible. I think it is a crime against humanity.

Norfolkandchance1234 Wed 05-Nov-14 09:55:39

In my day we used to have flashers in every local park and the kids would be exposed to this. We just used to laugh and think they were complete nutters whilst they hid in the trees and we carried on regardless playing without a second thought to them. When videos came out everyone watched all the horror films before it was decided that this may not be great for kids to watch so restrictions were put in place. As now with the internet we are aware of the dangers and are learning how to deal with it. Children used to work at a young age in Victorian times till it was decided this wasn't such a great idea so they were sent to school instead. Times change and we learn how best to deal with it for everyone's safety.

ellieding Wed 05-Nov-14 10:00:37

Yes, so we observed risks and made laws. The internet exists I don't want rid, but I do want it regulated and I think based on studies of the observed risks smartphones should be limited to 16/17, maybe older.

grocklebox Wed 05-Nov-14 10:23:27

Don't buy them smartphones, but more importantly: teach your children how to behave!
Honestly, why does this simple idea elude the frothers? YOU are the parent, if your child is doing dodgy stuff online its because you haven't taught them properly. I never did, my children don't. It's not that hard. Stop trying to hand off your responsibilities to the nanny state.

vdbfamily Wed 05-Nov-14 10:57:12

OP I am with you on this one and it is frightening what our poor kids could be exposed to at a young age but you cannot avoid the technology so you HAVE to major on teaching your kids safe internet use and explain that there is some horrible stuff out there. My daughter has just started secondary school and the pressure to have the right phone is unbelievable. We always said she could just have a basic phone to text/call as she gets a public bus home and sometimes misses it.Unfortunately my husband had an upgrade and gave her his old smartphone to save buying a new one. She has discovered that when at home she can use our wifi and get on the internet. However,she has found some great apps that help her with languages and homework etc and I have had to chat to her about what she needs to avoid. However,EVERY single day we argue about the fact that lots of her friends have iphones and she must have an iphone and she can't live without one etc.It is a nightmare. That and the needing to suddenly wear make up and read books written for 14 year olds that the librarian recommended for her. I never anticipated how hard it would be. I do wish the government had run with the suggestion that people should opt into porn when they pay for their internet connection.It would make the accidental discovery of it impossible and protact our kids. Maybe rather than an age restriction on phones,parents should be more educated into how to set up the phone safely. This is a good link.

DD's secondary school also sent us info from local police who recommended an ap that sends the parents phone a copy of every image that their child sends/receives. This guards against sexting and makes your child think carefully about what they are doing. The technology is out there.

ellieding Wed 05-Nov-14 11:40:25

What are the books?

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