It’s the modern-day equivalent of the birds and the bees: the talk about how to use The Internet safely and well.
Millie has started to get the idea of the internet lately, mostly because she’s been looking for Harry Potter videos on YouTube – by which I mostly mean fan compiled excerpts from the films set to bad emo.
But she’s discovered the web’s fatal attraction: when you go looking for one thing and find three more; follow one of those and find six more; follow one of those and find 12 more. Before you know it, it’s midnight and your eyes can’t focus on anything more than six inches away!
But the serious side of this is the worry of “inappropriate material”. The Lovely Melanie has suggested somehow “locking” the computer (and, presumably, the tablet and her phone and my phone) but I’m hoping we can talk to Millie about about the power and diversity of the internet, amaze her with the good stuff and warn her about the not-so-good stuff.
I don’t want to frighten her with talk of paedophiles in chatrooms, and I don’t want to obsess about the possibility of her seeing adults in – ahem – compromising positions. We’ve got SafeSearch switched on in the browsers, and there are worse things to discover than adults having sex (emo, for one!)
So, I want her to discover how to use the internet for good (and for me, a big part of that is to give her largely unfettered access to it). But I want her to understand that she needs to be a little bit careful and aware that the internet isn’t always a nice place.