BY SISTER PEGGY FLANAGAN
The rapid rate of technological changes, a part of the society in which we live, leaves many of us feeling a bit dizzy and unable to keep up with the latest innovations.
Change is inevitable, a law of life, as we all know.
Still, have you noticed that whereas the older generation used to teach the next generation, now, grandchildren teach their grandparents how to navigate the internet? Do we still have anything worthwhile to say to the younger generation about protecting themselves from criminal minds, using the internet for less than positive purposes?
Children, and the elderly, have this much in common. We are both vulnerable to the net of evil, vulnerable to bullying and abuse of many kinds. Does that mean this new technology is evil? No, like parents, fifty years ago, who tried to protect their children from the advent of the violence and sexually explicit content of some television programs, it was soon realized that learning to use the tools needed to discriminate between what was healthy and what was ominous, was the better way of dealing with the underbelly side of these wonderful new inventions.
How do we keep our kids safe in the wired world of Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, when we are told that over eight thousand sex offenders have access to these sites? Let us benefit from the gifts of technology while arming ourselves with the knowledge we need to prevent it from undermining our value system. Knowing what to do online to keep safe is a must.
Consider registering with Providence Spirituality Center for a one-day workshop being offered on Saturday, April 24th, in collaboration with the Healing Violence Committee of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul. The key note presenter will be Rob Nickel, a former OPP officer, dedicated to helping people stay safe on the internet. His understanding of the criminal mind gives children and parents the upper hand in protecting themselves on line. Detective Stephanie Morgan, who is with the Kingston Sexual Assault Unit, will give participants a glimpse into the local scene of cyber crimes and bullying.
Let’s be smart. Let’s be safe.
Peggy Flanagan sp
Member of the HVC