Parents: Do you love your children?
Teachers: Do you want to help your students?
Of course you do. So stop trying to protect them. Give them the tools and autonomy that will empower them to protect themselves.
The threats are real: misinformation, racism/sexism/ismism, predatory economics and politics.
We can’t control the forces that seek to divide our communities. We can only control our response.
This is personal. My daughter is nearly 13. Soon enough she’ll be driving, dating, going off to college.
When she learns to drive, I will not be able to clear the road or remove the threat of other drivers who are poorly trained, nearsighted, distracted by their phones, or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. They’ll all be there, in the lane right next to my daughter, one mistake away from death and destruction.
She will need to understand this, and she will need to train to develop the awareness and skill to protect herself as she navigates a complex, uncertain, and sometimes dangerous environment.
There is no such thing as a self-driving internet. But unlike the car, no one can do (read: understand, participate, compete) without the internet. Every young person needs to get online, eyes wide open, and take the wheel.