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Friday, December 03, 2004

Family PC: Backlash coming?

It's actually kind of surprising that the question - about the family PC as the "WMD" of "family values" - hasn't come up much (I think it has been flying under radar because of the other digital divide: kids are just so much more tech-fluent than grownups, and grownups are the ones with "radar detection"). But it's coming up now, and Wall Street Journal columnist Lee Gomes this week asked the question: "If America gets serious about doing battle over 'values,' will the Internet-enabled personal computer be able to stay out of the crosshairs?" Maybe not, but that may not be all bad. If the question raises awareness about the need for parents and educators to help children keep Net use constructive, then it's good. A balanced, very public debate - airing the views of parents, researchers, educators, child advocates, policymakers, and the tech industry, would be even better. But parents mustn't overreact and pull the plug on our children's Internet use. Why? Please see my newsletter this week for more on this.


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