Cell Phone Carriers to aid in preventing sexting ???

UPDATE :::

There seems to be a tool that can monitor and restrict texting and pictures until approved.  It is offered by Taser (yes the company that creates electric shock stun guns ).  I have not tested this product and it still may be unreleased but their description says they can monitor cells phones.  I do not agree with eaves dropping every call or some of the additional monitoring it provides BUT for our younger cell phone users, who are allowed to text, I believe you can preview the text as a parent before it goes out.  Again not sure how all of this works yet but it could be an additional safety tool to prevent sexting type picture messages from being sent from your child’s cell phone.  The product can be seen at http://www.protector.com/.

NOTE this is NOT a product endorsement but a link to allow you to view tools for cell phone protection.

Why can’t cell phone carriers create a filter for cell phones given to kids under 18? If they could delay text and pic messages until approved by a parent wouldn’t that help our kids from making split second bad decisions?

Even if it is the kid that has to wait a certain amount of time before the picture was sent they might have more time to think.
We are sending our kids out there unarmed using the latest technology. Even parents can’t keep up with teaching responsible use of this technology since most don’t know how to use it either. The legal system hasn’t arranged a way to catch underage kids from making mistakes they just know how to attach criminal charges to certain actions.

We need the government to enforce some responsibility to technology makers for minors! Not taking away freedoms but manging utilization of these technologies for kids. We don’t allow them to drive, drink or even vote until a certain age but they can send messages and pictures without any training or learning of consequences!!!

Online Safety: Fear of preditors or rules to support freedom of expression!

Being comfortable with technology, I have always been a proponent of teaching and encouraging an online experience.  It was only through scare sessions by the county prosecuter that I heard parents gasp at the possible dangers that their children might encounter while online.  These were parents who possibly also feared the internet due to lack of knowledge and comfort in using a computer.

My reasons for promoting Online Safety was to educate parents into talking with their kids and teaching them the best way possible to be online and be secure about that experience.  Anne Collier, creator of NetFamilyNews.org, states a compelling argument to changing the way we approach online safety.  See her blog and news article at http://www.netfamilynews.org/2009/04/online-safety-means-not-end.html.

Maybe the wave of ‘Predator Dangers…’ are slowing down due to the large scale scare campaign set forth by law enforcement, teachers, technology supporters and concerned parents. Kids are all too aware of the issues of meeting with strangers they talk to online.  As can be seen by the prominent role of social network sites in the US’s latest presidential election (see just-released Pew/Internet research) – it has clearly become an important tool of participatory democracy and, as such, we need to embrace the social media our children have at their disposal.

The NetFamily News article talks about the need to include social media as a part of citizenship and media literacy education in school (to remain relevant to social media’s most fluent practitioners – teens – schools cannot afford to discourage or block social media’s use).  She speaks about how our Online Safety education should be meaningful to kids in school and not just about banning social media sites.  Online Safety discussions should be about a healthy participation in social media and the freedom of expression and civic engagement through social technologies and media. She quotes,

“Digital citizenship is the new online safety!”

Educator and author Will Richardson says educators should encourage students to create, navigate, and grow the powerful, individualized networks of learning on the Web and helping them do this effectively, ethically, and safely.

Should the new dinner table discussions now bring up online media, in addition to the newspaper and TV news and encourage our children to talk about what they have read or posted on the web?  In many ways they are writers and publishers in their own right.