Don't you think it's cool how you can go onto your blogger interface and see how people reach your blog? I just discovered this today, and saw that my post, Megamind Review was my most popular one! I can see that someone reached it by googling : Megamind Easter Bunny Queen of England. It's all very interesting how the internet works, and how one person can reach billions in the blink of an eye, and how nothing is private anymore either. One day, I'm sure, we'll be able to tell exactly who that person was that googled: Megamind Easter Bunny Queen of England, where they live, and what they look like, without having to be a hacker even! (Ummm, not that I would want to!)
As my boys are getting older, I find I'm having to delve into the whole world of internet privacy. I'm so glad that they reinforce it at school. This is an issue we were never faced with as children, and our parents didn't have to deal with. I'm still learning about it.
Recently, both my two got email accounts. L doesn't really care about it, because he loathes reading and especially writing, but I got it because they both wanted Moshi Monster accounts and I didn't want to give them my email addresses to use, and they both needed two separate emails. R is on the fence about it. I got his set up because a friend of ours (whose daughters used to come to my daycare before they moved) set her daughter up on Facebook. Being a 10 year old girl and much more social than my two boys, she was very excited about it. She and R have been friends since they were toddling naked around my kitchen (that's a story best saved for their wedding~hey! I have my dreams too!) and I figured that despite the over-an-hour driving distance between us now, they could find a way to stay in touch through email.
Of course, me being the internet addict and social networking freak of the family, I was at him to check his emails wanting to know if she had written back or not. After a while, he got tired of it. He was nowhere nearly as enthusiastic as I had expected or hoped he would be. I just don't understand it. Isn't it exciting to discover a new email in your inbox? Isn't the anticipation of a written message delightful? As a kid, I used to write letters to my grandparents. Getting that letter back in the mail was the best thing ever! Email is so much better! No two-week-long waits in between letters.
Ah, well. I guess it's a female thing.
But back to the internet privacy.
I had to warn them of course to not open spam, to not reply to people they don't know, or addresses they are unsure about. It was kind of an eye-opener. It showed me how much more they have to learn about it all, and made me realize how I need to maybe rethink my own internet safety. You know that I don't put their full names here. I try to keep them somewhat anonymous that way. I try to limit details about where exactly we live, and to not have too many pictures (if any) with their faces. I'm not exactly sure if that is effective at all with protecting them, and I'm not even sure what I might be protecting them from. I'm naive about this stuff but just following the lead of some other friends who also blog.
So all this made me pause to think the other day, when I sat down to sign all the millions of forms that came home from school. One of them was a consent to allow their pictures to be taken and names to be published. It had a long list of checkboxes, including one for if the media came to the school would we allow our children to be filmed or photographed? There was also one asking for permission to print their names and achievements in the school newsletter and on the school website.
That's where I stopped checking yes. If I don't want to print their full names here, where no one knows where we live (except my near and dearest readers), then would I or should I allow their names and pictures to be displayed for anyone to see where they can also see where they attend school? After thinking about it, I checked no. I'm far too much of a worry-wart, I know. But there are weirdos out there....
I'm sure I'm just being paranoid. I'm wondering what other blogging moms checked, or will check when that day comes?