this is (one of) their worlds

The other day, I noticed that Grace was talking into my phone. It sounded like she was commenting on something. Her comments were clear and polite, and really positive. Just as I would expect. But still! After some investigation it turned out that she was commenting on the pet shops of other players in a game she plays on my phone. The kids comment on the class blog at school, so I guess this is a natural progression. Even so, this is not school, and I worried. I worried about what might happen if she got a nasty comment or if she came across someone with evil intention. And when I tried to talk to her about it, she just clammed up. What to do? Well, there was to be no computer or phone until we had a talk.
A week seemed like a long time but eventually we did have a chat about it. We talked about being nice and how I would always trust her to do the right thing but that other people might not. We talked about cyber safety and not giving out your personal details and about telling mum or dad if anything seems a bit funny. And there's a new rule. Grace is allowed to try new things like this - if they're OK for kids, if she's not under age (so no facebook until 13) and if they are appropriate. But she has to talk to us first so we can check them out and help her set them up properly if necessary. Deep breath. I hope we're doing the right thing. It feels right but still. More deep breaths.
So last night I set Grace up an email address. On gmail, so really she now has the whole google world at her fingertips. Like google+ and google chat. Another deep breath. We went back over the rule about asking first before trying a new thing. So yeah, I think we might spend some time learning about email safety and how to use it well. As well has finding some friends and family members for her to practice emailing with. I wonder how long before she gets an email telling her she has won some lottery?


Michelle said...

Good luck!

Kate said...

D's emails also go to the Bloke, so he can a) tell D he's got email, and b) delete spam/make sure D doesn't read anything inappropriate