Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Mixed blessings via the Net

Mixed blessings via the Net

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Wednesday, December 29, 2004 2:33 AM

We live in a society that is increasingly loosening up its moral standards. Rapid communications through media and the Internet are opening up worlds and new ideas that in the past were completely unavailable to our parents and grandparents. With the click of a mouse, we can access all kinds of sites and information on the Internet that our forefathers could never imagine. The rapid development of instant communications has shrunk the world and made it increasingly a global village.

With nonexistent boundaries, ideas and new concepts come flashing into our homes in an instant. It is virtually impossible to shield our children nowadays from the flow of information, ideas and pictures from around the world. This has made it very difficult, if not impossible, for us parents to shield our children from harmful influences and crackpot ideas.

This and many other factors have contributed to the rapid changes in the way we live and raise our children. Parents have to wage a battle against the rapid influx of ideas and influences that our forefathers never had to deal with.

The many advances in science and technology are blessings to mankind, but in many cases surely mixed blessings. Anyone who doubts this should go to the Internet and start surfing. I am a complete computer idiot who doesn’t even know how to turn on a computer, much less surf the web. So I ask my secretary to do it for me when looking for some references.

The other day I asked her to look for a certain topic that interested me because of my counseling. She printed out a hundred sites and sent them to me here in Nazareth House in Batangas. I checked a bunch of titles while leaving out others because they were obviously pornographic. Later, my secretary sent me a few downloaded scholarly papers on the subject. When I asked her why she didn’t include the others, she said, “But sir, they are very pornographic.” I was surprised, not because there is porn on the web, but because the titles I checked did not seem at all pornographic, but they obviously were very much so.

I couldn’t help but wonder how many of our very young people have access to the same. Surely such materials (I won’t tell you what the topic was for obvious reasons) would be very harmful to them. I remember the owner of a company that provides Internet access telling me on one of our TV shows some time ago that 80 percent of the sites that his clients accessed were pornographic. That is truly alarming since I’m told that you can find anything and everything in terms of pornographic materials on the web.

This reality will undoubtedly have a strong negative impact on our young people. In fact, in my counseling I continuously am finding the very young regularly using the Internet to access pornographic materials. To the point where they have become habituated and even addicted to it.

If your kids have access to the Internet, I think it would be wise for you to check out what they are into.


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