Annie, 8, watched a YouTube video on the best way to apply make-up so as to appear even prettier. Annie's mum only discovered this when checking the "URL History" on what their kids had been viewing on the Internet.
Daniel, 10, was caught on the Internet at 4.00am by his visiting grand-father who had got up for a comfort break. Daniel was playing a super cyberspace deathly sword game. Mum and dad were sound asleep as were the other children.
This is the good-stuff! But it is only the tip of the iceberg!
Now we can get down and dirty and wallow in the pig's swill and list example after example of much nastier things that our children are watching for which "almost all" parents are totally oblivious — the most violent viewing, sexual and horrifically pornographic and bloody, and the rest of it.
It's not only an adult's issue for their children, it's an adult issue. The recent Korean case (the world's most super cyber nation) where a court revealed that parents neglected their two-year-old in favour of their cyber space 'make-believe' baby.
It all demonstrates the situation needs some mature resolution. No reasonable person argues with the right of free speech, and the ramifications of banning everything doesn't work, and is way too difficult to apply across the board as the Federal Government has recently realised in changing their proposed Internet legislation. This whole issue has been written about time and time again across the media, this is one example.
There is serious opposition to a "nanny state" and moreover, the politically correct moves has come in for so much political and public criticism that there is now a reverse political correctness happening. An example of thiswas the furore created when a Western Australian primary school banned kids "hugging" each other and when a school in NSW where the headmaster proposed banning grand-fathers' from watching his school's athletic carnival. That tide appears to be turning (at last).
There is now another battle front, how to "help parents" assist their families in being able to control what they can view on the Internet.
A way forward
In 2011, my wife Delma and I developed the Basil Sellers Laguna Quays Respite cottage on the Whitsundays for missionaries rest and recreation. We've been friends with developer Garry Poole (in this area) since 2002 and when this cottage became available, it was to Garry Poole we sought wisdom.
All that is the background to "CybserSafe247" — John Lyons is linked to a team of US cyber space engineers who have developed this to allow parents "control through a Modem" what their family members can view on the Internet.
The parent or supervising adults controls what can be viewed and for how long (example Facebook can be limited to say, 20 minutes for each child), there is no software to slow down your computer (don't we hate that), it cannot be uninstalled, bypassed or disabled, it can block 2.6 million pre-categorised web sites and a whole lot more.
If I have learnt anything in 40 years of Christian ministry relating to families, it's that everything comes down to parental responsibility.
In today's world the Internet is so very pervasive yet also important to the way we function, such as its convenience in business, leisure and family connections around the world. Who doesn't use Skype?
This is all about Deuteronomy chapter 6 and the direct responsibility parents have for the welfare of their children. Moreover, cyber space demands that we need a little technological help in this.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html