Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hey Kids! Get Off My Internet!

I've got my panties in a bundle, dudes. I'm SO annoyed today. I've vented about parenthood before and I'm afraid I'm going to do it again. BEWARE!

Before I get ahead of myself in my ranting, I want to say this: I'm obsessed with my nieces and nephews. I'll do anything to protect them. Anything. I absolutely adore children and the concept that they are, you know, our future. Okay, so the kids I DON'T know annoy the crap out of me, but that is almost completely irrelevant. Kids are little, spongy brains who rely on taller people to tell them what to do. But where, exactly, is the line?

I have been a longtime fan of STFU Parents. It essentially points out the ridiculousness of people who dominate our Facebook feeds with news of their young ones' pooping habits. Sure there are other issues, but that's totally the most disturbing to me.

Anyhoozle, tonight STFU Parents featured, for the first time, a crazy parent ON PINTEREST. PINTEREST! My dear, dear baby! All of a sudden, overzealous parents are all trying to squash the freedom on Pinterest now! This is, to be blunt, really effing not okay with me. Here's a link to what I'm talking about: Fun Hater.

For starters, that picture is HIIIIILARIOUS. I lol'd. But then people have to ruin it for me by being all "Hey, my kids read this! Watch your language!" GUH!

I didn't hear my first swear word until I was in 2nd grade. I remember a 6th grader named Robin said the word "Goddamn" on the playground and I almost pooped my pants. I have no idea how I KNEW it was a bad word, but I knew. My parents have never allowed swear words in our house. To this day, I check my potty mouth at the door. The point is, my parents didn't go over to her parents house and discuss, at length, what impact Robin's swearing had on me, and request that they change their language so that I wouldn't be tainted with her cursing.

No, my parents taught me that swearing was basically rude and against the rules. And because I'm not always a quick study, I ate my share of Dial soap in my day. When I got to college, though, I learned that "we must learn the rules before we can learn to break them with purpose". Meaning: I can spit out World's Most Effective Swear Word when necessary. So, Robin had no effect on me whatsoever other than to provide a clever story on a blog.

The reality is that I censor myself online. But I censor myself because I'm pretty sure my parents would still love to wash my mouth out with soap if I said something crass. I do NOT censor myself because other people's CHILDREN may or may not stumble onto my musings. It is simply not my job to teach a child about appropriate language.

See, Robin wasn't in charge of me, and I'm not in charge of other people's kids. There are loads of places kids don't belong when it comes to the Internet. Facebook, for instance. Or, you know, Google or whatever. Hey parents? Guess what! You CAN stop your children from being on sites you don't like. I mean, I don't know how you go about doing that, but I'm told it's possible.

Meanwhile, I just had a conversation with my sister Padrin. Her 12-year-old daughter has been on Pinterest, so I asked what she thought. She said - and this was music to my ears - "I tell my kids they will hear and see lots of things that aren't appropriate. They can hear it but they can't say it. I can also not put them in situations where I know there's going to be lots of stuff that I don't want them to see, but that's up to me."

Then I told Padrin to kiss my a$$. :)

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