Did you hear the news? Nude photos of celebrities, including a Jennifer Lawrence photo, were stolen from private accounts hosted in the cloud and downloaded to the Net for anyone to see. You don’t even have to pay some XXX site to see them. They’re just out there, available to the general public.
While there are a thousand things we could talk about in connection to celebrities and people’s ridiculously insatiable appetite for gossip, photos and anything else Hollywood, we can also use these events as an excuse to talk to our kids.
My children are young, just ages 8 and 5. But even now I talk to them about not sharing personal information on the Internet (not that they have any real access anyway). But I want to start instilling in them the idea that the Internet, no matter how safe we may feel it is, isn’t as secure as we think it is.
I’m not interested in scaring my kids. Rather, I’m dedicated in them developing a healthy respect for what the Internet is and what it is not. The Internet is not your home. People you don’t know can connect to you through technology, even when you don’t know they are. No matter how many passwords you have or how diligent you are, your information is not completely private. Does this mean we should hide from the Internet and all of the wonderful things it can bring to enhance our lives. Absolutely not. But it does mean we need to be ever vigilant in the information we share and host.
Despite my wishes, I’m not Jennifer Lawrence. I don’t have the body she has. Then again, I have two kids and almost two decades on her. Even though I may not be a sought-after celebrity, I would never post, host or save compromising pictures of myself on the Net. Embarassing… perhaps. But naked photos… never.
Is what happened to Jennifer Lawrence just plain wrong? Absolutely. I hope that she’s able to quickly move on and this becomes just a unpleasant blip in her life. But it’s also a learning opportunity not just for Jennifer but for our kids. Tailor your discussion to be age appropriate, but at the same time don’t assume that your kids aren’t more tech savvy than you give them credit for. The best way to keep our kids safe as technology becomes more prevalent and our kids have access is to openly discuss the joys of the Internet as well as the dangers.