Thursday, May 28, 2009

Internet Safety

I've been teaching my daughter about internet safety. So far, it's not going well. Mostly because I want to impart that everyone online is an insane pervert (except you, of course, although you should probably get your hand out of your pants) but I don't want to scare her. So you can see what I'm dealing with here.

I've told her to never, ever give her real name, address, phone number or gender online, so if you're seeing an 80 year old man online who voted for American Idol Kris 36 times because he is supercute and really wants an Apple laptop, that's probably my daughter. I told her to never ever make plans to meet anyone she met online. And then I went out to have drinks with someone I met online. Of course, I was reluctant to tell her that.

"Where are you going?"
"To have drinks."
"With who?"
"A friend."
"What's her name?"
"Mommy's Martini."
"Your what?"
"Oh no, I'm meeting Mommy's Martini."
"That's her name?"
"Yes. Well, that's her blog name."
"Have you ever met her before?"
"Only online! Bye! Hopefully I'll come back non-dismembered! Love you!"

So, the other day, my daughter was registering an online account with a popular website. I hovered.
"You're not using your real name, right?" I asked.
"Nope!" she reassured me. "I'm Tiffani."
"That's...pretti," I told her, "and not your real age, either, right?"
"Of course not!" she told me, "I registered as 18!"

Yes, I am available to consult on online safety for your family. I'm pretty sure that I can make a living doing it.

By the way, Mommy's Martini is lovely and totally didn't try to dismember me.


Blogger Heather said...

Quite frankly, since Mommy's Martini got to actually drink with you, she's dead to me.

Also, I need your real address so I can mail my adoption papers to you.

May 28, 2009 at 10:59 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

So now I'm pissed I didn't force myself on you last weekend, too. :( OK, not really, but it sounds like you guys had a great time! Can't wait to hear more. I went and read her site-- she's great!

May 28, 2009 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger blognut said...

Can you put together a webinar on online safety? I'll make sure that I sign up my two teen daughters to take it. Okay?

May 28, 2009 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

Hmmm... 18-year-old Tiffani might get herself into a world of trouble. Would your daughter go for changing it to 81 year old Leonard?

Drinkinka with Marinka (wish I'd thought of that title BEFORE I published the post) went up today today too. :)

P.S. I'm hoping Heather will allow me to be a zombie in her life (you know, reanimated dead) after she drinks with you at BlogHer. What are the odds?

May 28, 2009 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger K.Line said...

I'm in the process of doing this right now with my daughter. It's quite a challenge. DOn't want to cause irreparable fear or seem like a hypocrite(as I spend half my life on the internet telling people all about me). Result is that I spend half my night vetting her responses (on theoretically safe, kid sites) to supposed regular kids. I guess it's better than being left out of the loop.

May 28, 2009 at 1:08 PM  
Blogger mo.stoneskin said...

I was just chatting to an 80-yr-old fella in a chat room who claimed his mother had a blog.

Sure, who doesn't? I thought.

Then I calculated how old this mother would be, and how remarkable it is that someone that old could be so computer-savvy.

And then he said he was called Tiffany.


May 28, 2009 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger Gone, long gone. said...

Sorry Mo, that was me.

May 28, 2009 at 1:44 PM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

fyi: 80-year-old men who voted for kris because he's supercute and who also want an apple laptop - that describes about half my friends.

May 28, 2009 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger bernthis said...

please clarify that we have met three times and I have yet to lay a knife blade any where near you.

May 28, 2009 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger hokgardner said...

Before I met Wendi Aarons in person the first time, my husband worried that she might be an axe murderer. He was only slightly reassured when I told him we were meeting at the box office of a movie theater in broad daylight.

May 28, 2009 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Formerly known as Frau said...

It's a no win situation! 18 or 10she is in trouble I agree make her in her 80's.

May 28, 2009 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger LTYM said...

Regarding hokgardner's comment, I actually am an axe murderer. I was just on vacation that day.

May 28, 2009 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger efaqffqaewfm said...

I was never given a web safety lecture. I started out chatting in chat rooms on a kid's site around the age of 10 (It's how I learned to speed type) and just sort of used common sense. I always gave my age and gender honestly, because frankly, there's enough 11 year old females out there for me to blend in. I never gave my location or anything like that though. My parents never really felt the need to tell me the rules of the net because I just sort of followed them without ever hearing them. I think part of it is just trusting your daughter has the common sense to not give info out.

May 28, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

I've been having these discussions with my sons lately. Alas, they have not come up with very exciting Internet aliases yet, and when I was checking their usage history, they may have actually searched for Sometimes they take me quite literally.

May 28, 2009 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

It is a good thing you weren't dismembered. It would be difficult to type when one is missing an arm or two.

May 28, 2009 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Jennifer S said...

Heck, you could make a fortune off of pretending to be 18 year old Tiffani. Just sayin'.

May 28, 2009 at 11:03 PM  
Blogger Kate Coveny Hood said...

Back in the Stone Age when I used to get my nails done every other week...I had a manicurist who had a twelve year old son. He was all about the pre-teen chat rooms and became particularly close with a twelve year old girl. They would chat online for hours and talked about making plans for her to come visit from California. His Stepfather's comment on the whole thing was that "she" was probably "some 40 year old fat guy." I died laughing at the time - but now that i'm well into my 30s, I'm a little offended by the ageism...

May 28, 2009 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger anymommy said...

Am so jealous of you and MommyTime that I can not worry about protecting daughterinka. Couldn't anyone on the internet be unlovely so that I can stop plotting moves to California or NYC.

May 29, 2009 at 1:14 AM  
Blogger CSY said...

Ahhh the LOVELY internet talk with your daughter. Mine is 12 and this is the law: NO chatting, you can ONLY go to websites that have Johhny Depp stories on them..oh and wrestling, she's into wrestling. Should I be worried?

May 29, 2009 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger Belle said...

By the way. I am a 10 year old little boy from Virginia.

May 29, 2009 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Gone, long gone. said...

From Virginia you say? Let's have lunch. Don't worry, I don't dismember on the first date.

May 29, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

Hey, I live nearby! Ok, sort of, I live in Westchester, which is as we well know where all the serial killers and psychopath masquerading as soccer moms live. But I'm not one of them. And I promise to buy you a Caramel Macchiato before I try to dismember you.

May 29, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Issa said...

Thta's where the do as i say, not as I do thing, comes to bite you in the ass.

My kid is seconds away from wanting her own email account. I am just not ready for that. Can't they stay little and play with My Little Ponies for a few more years?

May 29, 2009 at 3:50 PM  
Anonymous tara said...

This post is hilarious.

I read this articleabout how tons of parents are unaware of how their kids are accessing the web and I had a talk with my daughter immediately. Also had a conversation with my cell phone provider.

Good times!

May 29, 2009 at 4:29 PM  

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