The Internet: Bringing Families Together

We're just wrapping up tomorrow's show, about social networking for little kids (and how it might not be as bad a thing as you think). And of course I had to go back and re-watch one of the simultaneously funny and deeply sad viral video hit of recent weeks: the beleaguered Jessi Slaughter & Family. After being mercilessly harassed online, the 11-year-old and her father and mother make the ill-fated decision to make things worse by turning on the webcam again (more background here).

You've probably seen it already. If you haven't, you may wish to follow it with a chaser of the double rainbow guy. (Heads up: Some words go flying in here that make it NSFWoK — not safe for work or kids.)

Jessi's tale is also a good complement to our forthcoming episode — a chilling example of what can go down when you're not paying attention to what your kids are up to online. (And for God's sake, do not try to rectify your child's Internet troubles by just rolling tape and then posting to YouTube.)

So do we shield our kids from the ‘net until they're old enough to handle it? Or — as our show guests suggest — can we train them in so they're more prepared for the Wild Wild Web?

Choose wisely. Or, as I once heard someone say, "Consequences will never be the same."

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