I read all of the articles on the resources lists, as well as Leave It Alone by Elder H. Burke Peterson, Emeritus Member of the Seventy.
There were many things I took away from reading and watching these resources to learn more about internet safety. The first thing is the reality of the dangers of the internet, such as cyberbullying, pornography, child predators, etc. They are real and they occur all around us. However, I also learned what measures can be taken to prevent things like this from happening and I loved how many of these dangers are actually being combated with technology. Another thing I learned from Elder Bednar’s talk, along with the PBS documentary, is how much we can become absorbed in a virtual world. The scary thing is that all of us do it! Whether it is facebook, email, video games or a number of other stimuli, we struggle to function without it. It has made me realize that while these things are not inherently bad, they become dangerous when we cannot moderate the time we spend using them.
I taught and shared information with a mother about cyberbullying. She had read some articles about it before and knew that it was bullying that happens through email, chatrooms, etc. Her reaction was one of disgust, but she was not surprised because she had read about it before and how common it is becoming. I was most surprised by her reaction because she actually listed a number of things she thought could be done to prevent cyberbullying, which showed that parents are becoming more aware of this problem and working to remediate it. I think this mom will continue to be aware of what her children are doing when they use the internet. I think she will use the things I told her to protect them from the dangers of the internet and encourage them to be open with her about what happens there. I think she will also discuss with her children about the negative things that can happen, but also remain optimistic that there are many benefits of the internet as well.