12 Year Old Gives Advice
Kids Are Smart But Play It Safe
Today I thought I'd write about something a little different. I've had several ideas for an article floating around for a few days but ended up on this one.
It's about this remarkable twelve year old kid. Today he would be about sixteen years old but the articles I found on him was when he was twelve.
I also decided to offer some advice of my own and a few safety tips while I was at it.
A twelve year old gives advice on driving traffic to a blog. Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.net asked David Wilkinson to write an article. David has his own blog which he calls Techzi originally hosted at blogspot then moved to a hosted wordpress blog. He started with the help of two young fellows like himself, one 12, the other 11. His original blog is at http://globa-tech.blogspot.com/. I haven't found the wordpress blog.
David is from Manchester England, goes by the name Delta Taph and writes mostly about technology and makes about $500 a month. That was then. In an interview he said that would be enough until he reached fourteen then he would aim higher.
This is quite an amazing story.
Kids nowadays are so smart and forward thinking especially when it comes to computers that it's almost scary but it's also remarkable considering that just a couple of generations ago we weren't even close to being this knowledgeable. Of course computers had not come into the picture as a prominent part of our lives as it is today.
I was looking for information on, you guessed it, driving traffic to my blog. Periodically, I search for information on this topic. I don't give alot of credence to most of the writers. As a matter of fact probably none of them. Not that some of the advice isn't useful, I've implemented some of the strategies recommended on my own blogs and have gained some new readers. It's just that it's a dog eat dog world out there and success is made all the more difficult with millions of bloggers all competing for people's attention. In a nutshell it's hard in the blogger world unless you have a very unique blog that people can't wait to read. If you are more mainstream getting traffic and keeping it can be an uphill battle.
But this isn't the purpose of this article. What amazes me is how intelligent this kid is. He knows alot and I mean alot for a twelve year old. But he isn't a unique kid by any means. Most kids today are far more mature and advanced than their parents and grandparents. I'm sure there are grandparents out there standing back in total awe of their grand kids and feeling out of the loop.
Kids today know far more about computers and the internet than their parents ever thought of knowing or wanted to know.
But in this ever changing world this is not only a wonderful concept it's also a scary one. There are kids out there who know a great deal about computers and they aren't using it for useful purposes but rather harmful ones and that's where the problems comes in. Parents today don't have an inkling what their up against.
There are many kids out there like David Wilkinson who spend their time on the internet doing useful things but many others who are not.
I say if a kid wants to start his own blog like David and write, as long as it's not harmful to anyone and clean then let the kid have at it. And if he can make some money with it then even better. He's going to have to learn the concept of working for money all too soon anyway.
But my question is, what happens when kids spend too much time on the internet and get into trouble and there are many forms of that lurking. Kids just like adults think there is an anonymity that allows them more freedom than in real life. But this isn't the case. Unfortunately, social networks are a prime example of people posting all too personal stuff about themselves not realizing that everyone in the world can read it and even know when that person is home or not. This is made more dangerous when children are involved.
There have been far too many people who thought the anonymity of the internet allowed them to say anything they wanted and wound up in trouble. There are stalkers who think the internet shields them from prosecution. They think no one can do anything to them until the police show up at their door. This is not as common as it once was. The progression of technology has made is easier to catch stalkers. Nonetheless many out there still think they can hide behind their computer screen when in fact they cannot.
And even more serious are those children who get caught up in a web of lies and deceit on the internet by predators. This is the real and in my opinion the biggest problem on the internet followed by stalking. The rest has some saving grace but children left to their own devices without parental supervision and preyed upon is a dangerous problem.
There is no doubt, kids are smart these days but they are not adults. Even some adults aren't too swift. This is why as smart as kids are they need to be supervised and the parents need to know what their children are doing on the internet.
Not too many are as entrepreneurial as David.
When I read about this kid I was astonished at how smart kids are these days when it comes to a computer and today's technology. I know of course but I was surprised at a 12 year old writing about blogging and giving tips to other fellow bloggers and making money doing it.
Today parents have to be diligent when it comes to where their kids are going online and who they are interacting with. It's important for parents to spend time with their children going online with them and for parents to understand the internet.
But since parents can't monitor their kids online activity at every turn kids should know what is okay and what is not. They should be informed and educated.
For the parent who wants to supervise more but can't there is software out there that will allow the parent to know every website their child visits and everything he/she says. It's called key logging software and it monitors everything from the websites visited to every single keystroke whether online or offline in word perfect, office, etc.
Personally, I'm loathe to recommend this unless you know your child is hiding something and you feel it has something to do with the internet and feel there is no other option of finding out the truth. Otherwise I feel it's an invasion of privacy. Granted, it's your child but that is beside the point. If he/she ever finds out gaining his/her trust will be next to impossible.
I would start with education and letting the child know the dangers that are out there and how to handle people they don't know.
For those kids that use social networks and how many don't these days, it's important the child only interact with people he/she knows. I understand that often times kids want to make friends with other kids especially kids from different cultures and countries and there is absolutely wrong with this except we all know that a forty year old can pretend to be fifteen on the internet and there is no way of knowing. It doesn't matter if the picture is that of a highschooler. He can swipe a photo of a teenager just about anywhere on the net or use one of a kid he knows or his own child even.
It's easy for a thirty year old to manipulate a child so parents must make their children aware and teach them how to protect themselves online.
If the child is intent on connecting with new people on social networks it's important for them to communicate with them openly where others can see what is being said and not on private email where someone who is a predator can say things without fear of others seeing it.
My opinion on chat rooms is for kids stay out of them. I have spent enough time in them to know there are many in them for nefarious purposes. Sometimes it's to hookup, sometimes it's too shove porn down your throat and other times there are predators looking for victims.
There is often misleading, inaccurate and inappropriate materials for kids online. It's most definitely not anonymous no matter what anyone thinks.
Most kids these days know more about computers and the internet than their parents. So parents need to learn as much as they can to better protect their kids and keep them safe.
One good site for safety tips is http://www.ou.edu/oupd/kidtool.htm. One important note, kids can often get by parental controls.
Another important note, don't forget that kids to need life skills too. The skills that don't involve a computer.
Most importantly trust your child unless proof suggests otherwise.