This evening I posted something on the Community Pool – one of my more recent posts entitled ‘Karma’s a B*tch, Right?‘ I love the opportunity to meet new people and I was really pleased that I had the time to read through the other links that appeared.
One of the first comments I received was from a girl who chastised me for swearing. It was obvious that she was very young, I’d guess about 11 or 12 years old, and in an effort to be polite and humour her I explained why I had used the offensive word in that particular context and the connotation that it had.
As I moved down the comments I noticed that the same girl had commented on almost every post, and some bloggers were responding to her and thanking her for her advice in a way that suggested that they didn’t know that they were taking advice from a child. Granted, she’s obviously quite an intelligent and articulate child, but she’s still a child all the same.
Later, this girl’s sister also chastised me for swearing, explaining that it was her turn to use the computer.
My problem is this: I don’t want to talk to children, take advice from children or have to rephrase a comment or statement just in case a precocious child happens upon it. When teaching I spend a large amount of my time trying to explain to youngsters the perils of the internet and the importance of internet safety. Indeed, in my daily life, outside of my teaching job, I have to accommodate other people’s offspring. However, my blog is my own little escape where I feel that I can discuss things that are on my mind and are important to me and this is certainly a child-free zone. Sometimes, those things are of an adult nature (although I am aware that some of my last few posts have been about a chicken before anyone points this out). However, a blog is still a public forum if it is on the internet that is accessible to anyone and this is the first time that I have contemplated the fact that young children may be reading it.
I appreciate the fact that children and young teenagers are now highly tech-savvy, with lots of them owning smartphones and tablets, and kudos to them for wanting to express themselves. I have loved writing from an early age and have kept journals from the age of seven, which I still have today, but I feel really uncomfortable with the fact that somebody out there is allowing their children to communicate with adults that they know nothing about. I harbour no ill wishes to any youngsters, but there are lots of sick individuals out there that do…
I had a message from the sister asking me what I thought of her blog. I don’t want to upset this child but I think she’s far too young to be reading my blog, communicating with me and others of my age and her parents clearly should take more responsibility and monitor the sites that her and her sister are visiting.
What about you guys? Do you think I’m being silly? Would you let your own children have a blog?