Ah, to be young and virtual!
This website is dedicated to the young at heart and the electronic by persuasion. Despite some of the more unsavory potential connotations of the phrase “cyber jeune”, we run a clean site here. Safe for children of all age, and maybe the odd profanity when it is really, really deserved.
But what does it really mean to be ‘safe for children’?
Are we really concerned that the little ones will be traumatized by a word or two, or is it just that we’re too lazy and stupid to explain to them why some words can be used in certain situations and others cannot?
Is it simply because we’re afraid that children might have trouble seeing the need for such a situation, whereas we’ve become so familiar with the various double-standards? Are we that uncomfortable with the possibility that it may be not only unnecessary but also potentially damaging to our freedom of expression and to our ability to decide appropriate behavior for ourselves?
Even if they expressed an interest (which itself is hard to believe), I doubt that children would get much out of this website. And I would never suggest that we should allow children to freely surf the internet and even a social media website, no matter how safe and secure they may be. I’m not sure why, however…is it only because there’s crazy things going on, and we’re told all of our lives that which is Bad?
A child would definitely be interested in something bright and exciting like online games, for many of the same reasons that an adult may be stimulated by the potential for ….(fill in your own word.). Of course, adults may have the extra urge to win money, and the somewhat illicit excitement of doing something not-entirely-wholesome. Let’s face it. The world on online casinos for US players has expanded enormously over the last ten years. And gambling seems to have lost most of its unsavory reputation. Many online casinos offer games that can not only be played for money stakes, but also are free. I have sat in many airports waiting for a flight and observed people around me playing free online slots games. What would have been crazy twenty years ago, is common place today. And just as there are dozens of online gambling casinos available where there is an internet connection, so too are there countless number of free online games for kids. With Facebook offering games such as CandyCrush and all its variations, as well as Words with Friends, it seems like we never will be bored.
Moving on there are constant choices that need to be made whenever you go online and how you handle them can make the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy bias. Gay or straight? Or somewhat less provocative, fashion. Is that dress to short? How about that hair? Is it ok to wear a product from Amore wigs online? There’s a slight bit of baggage that goes with wearing a wig – many people find it odd and even those who purchase wigs tend to be very secretive about those purchases, request plain wrappers, etc. What is it about our hair that would make this fashion item provocative? Ah, questions with no answers…
…where was I? Oh yes, the point is that I’m not entirely sure why we’re so reluctant to expose children to online profiles. Do we make them wait until they’re 18 so they have more useful information and possibly a bit of personal self-discipline to work with? That makes sense, though I know far too many adults who never picked up those particular characteristics…and I’ll guess that most of not all of them were kept from exposure to the social medias, too. So it may be a valid point, but it’s by no means foolproof…