Uninvited Guests: Online Predators

by Cookie

I think I need to stop reading the news.  There is so much bullshit out there that I can’t even wrap my head around it.

There’s that fat little puke in North Korea making threats everyday about war.  I almost wish he would just do it, so we could watch the Americans step in and beat the shit out of them.

Apparently here in Canada we don’t have too much political stuff going on at the moment.  But I did read a delightful article about the exploding feral feline population and how cats were taking over the country.

And then I read this article.  The article of the day.  It’s about online predators, and how they are now using online gaming to lure children.   It talks about the risks of online gaming, how the predators will resort to anything to groom their victims, and what some states have done to reduce the risk.

It amazes me to no end how many sexual predators there are.  It amazes me further how many of them target children.  I can’t ever imagine feeling sexual urges towards a child.  I just don’t get how some people are wired that way.  And from what I understand, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of redirecting therapy that cures a pedophile.  Just therapy to control the urges and not act on them.

And it’s not in a “oops I got drunk and fucked my best friend’s wife” kind of way.  The entire act from start to finish is a well thought out, premeditated process.  The online world has made all of this just so much easier for these sick fucks.

When I was a child there was no internet.  The only video games we had were on a Vic20, or Atari system.  The only danger was going cross eyed from watching that fucking ball bounce back and forth against the walls of the screen.  Things got a little more exciting with Nintendo and Gameboy….I remember spending tons of time playing Mario with my friends as a teenager.

My point is that is was ok for us to go downstairs and play our games because our parents could be sure that it was just us kids and we were safe.

It isn’t like that anymore.  The second your kid goes into their room, closes the door and turns on the internet  they are in the company of God knows how many people.  We used to worry about inviting evil into our home by using a Ouiji Board.  But I think we’ve got bigger problems to deal with.  Because the threat is coming out of that monitor, and it’s no ghost.

CBC contacted Sony (Playstation 3), Microsoft (Xbox 360) and Nintendo (Wii) to ask them what they do to keep kids safe on their networks.”

That’s terrific, CBC.  But I have a better idea.  Why don’t you contact the parents and ask them what they do to keep kids safe on networks?

Why is it always someone else’s job to take care of our children?

I’m sorry, but this house will see a “no internet behind closed doors” policy.  My teenager will NOT have a smart phone.  My child will not spend hours a day playing video games while I ignore them.  I will sleep with the fucking console under my bed at night if I have to and take the goddamn thing with me to work if I have to.

Why?  Because it’s my job to regulate what goes on under my fucking roof.  Not Sony, not Microsoft and not Nintendo.  It’s not the government’s job to set rules in my house.  It’s not someone else’s responsibility to monitor what is going on in my children’s life.  Stephen Harper didn’t birth my kids.  I did.

And if my kids hate it?  Too fucking bad.  I guess they don’t want to play that bad.

I’ll tell you what I like.  I think it’s a good idea for gaming companies to ban known predators from online resources and accounts.  I think it’s a good idea for predators released on parole to be banned from online activity as a condition of release.

But in the end, like every generation of parents before us, the world is different from when we were kids. So we have to adjust and determine what poses a legitimate threat to our kids and do our job as parents not to expose them to it where possible, and educate them on how to protect themselves against it.

So CBC, although I appreciate your concern and your advocacy for my kids by running this article, don’t forget to put the responsibility back where it belongs.

And remind us to do some of the parenting ourselves.