The Power of the Internet
The Power of the Internet has literally taken over the way society goes on about everyday life. It has impacted on American youth more than anything, but this impact is not necessarily positive. Some sites are educational, while others are filled with sex, drugs, and racist material. "There was a time when kids were safe studying in their bedrooms, but now, if a computer and modem are present, leaving them alone in their bed rooms can be as risky as leaving them alone on a street corner or at a bus station"(Sheppard 1).
The places kids can go on the Internet is imaginable, its possibilities are endless. "The though of adolescent children wandering through big cities where sex shops and schools, strip joint and libraries, triple-X theaters and museums sit side by side, allowing easy and free access, would scare most parents"(Mack 1). "But many set loose their kids in the cyber world, allowing them to roam sex chat rooms, view pornographic pictures and seek other sexually explicit material with little supervision or direction"(Mack 1). Kids can view all of this material with just a click of a button. "Type the word sex into any search engine on the Internet and see how many sites you get back. The words sex and pornography entered on Yahoo revealed one hundred thirty four links to sex-related Web sites"(Mack 1).
"There is a definite risk of children being victimized online, 'says George Trubow, professor of law at John Marshall Law School and director of the Center for Information Technology and Privacy Law.' Trubow identifies three significant risks: access to web sites that have information inappropriate for children; being contacted by pedophiles who want sex; and marketers who contact them to get information about their family's income levels and spending habits"( Sheppard 1). There have been some attempts to contain what kids on the Internet can view. "In spurts of pre-election legislation, Congress passed the 'Communications Decency Act II' called by the kinder, gentler name of the 'Child Online Protection Act', the bill, like it's predecessor, is likely to be struck down by the courts as being unconstitutional"(Smith 1).
"Recent Events Have Raised Parents' Concerns That the Hours Teens Spend Online Can Lead to Danger or Addiction. But Others Say the Net Fetish Is Just a Phase. A fourteen-year-old Coon Rapids girl runs away from home with an Internet acquaintance. Two Bloomington teenagers are arrested for allegedly using their computers to intercept credit card numbers. A fifteen-year-old Bemidji boy tries to board a bus bound for Denver to meet two women he befriended on the Net"(Gaw 1). While many parents are terrified that their children interest in computers could lead to obsession or dangerous behavior, experts say that it is just a phase. The Internet is somewhat of a hobby, such as collecting cards, talking on the phone, etc.
"Choosing the best way to control what your child...