Friday, February 29, 2008

How do you beat an $84 million government porn filter?

With a $300 Playstation portable. This is yet another example of the futility of relying on filtering as your primary means of protection from anything you don’t like on the internet. I’m not suggesting that you let your kids loose on the internet with no supervision. However, paying $50, or $84 million, for a filter and expecting it to do the parenting for you is futile. It simply doesn’t work.

This post written by Chris O'Donnell for

Monday, February 25, 2008

R U Breaking Up?

It probably should not come as a surprise that over 4 in 10 teens will use instant messaging to say things they don’t want to say in person. It is really no different than our generation breaking up by writing a note to avoid the face to face conversation, or getting a friend to convey a message for us.

However, it wasn’t right when we did it back then, and it is no more correct today. Text messaging can be a highly efficient communication tool. My wife and I IM all the time when she is at her computer in the basement, and I’m in my home office upstairs. However, emotion doesn’t translate into an IM well, and smiley face icons are no substitute for face to face expression. The old adage if you can’t say it to their face you shouldn’t say it at all seems to still be relevant in the IM / instant communication world.

This post written by Chris O'Donnell for

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is the real world losing out to the virtual world?

The San Francisco Chronicle wants us to believe that there is an epidemic of kids that would rather hole up with a computer or video game all day and never experience the wonder that comes from the natural world. Certainly, too many kids feel this way. However, the article and all the “experts” quoted in it fail to identify the proper culprit.

It’s parents, simple as that. Kids develop a love of the natural world at a very young age, well before they are addicted to real time strategy games on the internet. If your 15 year old would choose the mall over Yosemite National Park, look in a mirror to find the person to blame. You don’t need a National Park in the neighborhood to develop an appreciation of the nature.

This post written by Chris O'Donnell, who initially launched this blog.