Internet of Hamelin

Pied_Piper2

Everyone is familiar with the old tale about Pied Piper of Hamelin. Peculiarly enough it became extremely relevant today. As the story goes the rat-catcher is tricked by Hamelin’s magistrate who refuses to pay him money for extermination of rats in the city which leads to the Piper giving his revenge by beckoning children with his magic pipe into the waters where they vanish forevermore.

The legend origins from Middle Ages and it surely serves as a metaphor, not a straight story. But it is aimed at parents who didn’t pay enough attention to keep their children safe and let a stranger lead them into the abyss.

About 700 years late parents are still that naïve. The Pied Piper hasn’t gone anywhere – he became even more sophisticated, he uses disguises, he creeps right from the wireless networks of your home. Today his name is Internet. Our children follow him wherever he goes enchanted by the magic music. We thought that Internet only means to make learning process easy for our little ones. No more need to go to the libraries since it’s all there – the tons of useful information. We were told that World Wide Web contains every bit of data.

Every single bit. Can you imagine? There are places we certainly do not want to show our precious and unspoiled kids. We must not fear to use the term Parental controls – it may sound detached, Orwellian even, but all we are about as parents is Protection, not Restriction.

Let us ask ourselves a simple question: are we doing enough for our children to be safe? We always taught them to avoid talking to strangers, cross the streets at green light only, keep away from the fire and sharp things.  We tie a scarf around their necks on a windy day so they do not catch a cold. We do our best at being the keenest parents imaginable as long as we rest assured that there is no more we could do for the well-being of our children. Who else would care but us?

But sometimes the danger appears out of nowhere. The flashing screen – harmless companion of our days – a toy for killing time and searching things we do not know. Just yet. We must admit that Internet has become the part of our lives which we neither can deny of fight against. And the landscapes online are so vast we can lose our kids there in no time. There never will be enough time and effort to keep an eye on them at every single second. To forbid going there is not entirely fair isn’t it? As we use Internet for our good day after day – apps for this, auto-updates for that. And we wish the same easy arranged feature for our kids as now and in the future – there is no way of stopping the progress and we know that we do not need to. All we need is to show our children the safe path for internet-surfing so they can find what they are looking for without hurting themselves in any way.