Cause the Internet is out to get you

Like anything else in this world, the internet has its benefits and its dangers, and like any other controversial situation there are a lot of people who tend to forget about the advantages and focus more on the penalties.  You can almost guarantee that any slightly shocking or twisted story involving the internet will grab headlines.

The Internet might be a new, effective, and more anonymous way for predators to seek out and groom children for criminal purposes. However it is majorly overblown. The tales of paedophiles luring children out of their homes are like plane crashes, they happen extremely rarely, but when they do, they make headlines everywhere. The internet is not as bad as the media shapes it out to be.

Anything that can happen on the internet can easily happen on a stroll in a park. Children should be taught to stay away from dangers on the internet just like they are taught to stay away from people in big-black vans and not to take candy from strangers.  It is true that kids are reluctant to share their internet lives with their parents, but then again an average teenager would be reluctant to share anything else.  You do not know what your children do online just like you do not know what they do at parties. The truth is the ones who get into risky business online, probably get into more risky business offline.  Sure, there are dangers. But they are hugely over-hyped by the media. Over protecting can cause more damage to a child than anything they can come across on the internet.

Then on a completely different note there are the ones who blame the internet for their plump sluggish kids who seem to have lost their ability to move. To be fair, I see where their arguments are coming from, because frankly, if it was not for my faulty internet connection this afternoon I probably would have passed on the painful pleasure that was my two hour walk. But unless modems are suddenly grabbing children by the neck and injecting fat into them, parents might be better off pointing their fingers at Ronald McDonald, his alleged Happy Meals and the countless other corporations out there which are really out to destroy you and your health.

In my many years of internet use I have never yet come across a big-fat-hairy middle-aged man waiting to harass me, but I have occasionally come across ones on our idyllic island. Sure, I could have lived without seeing some stuff, but here I am, utterly unscarred.

David Crystal and Dumbledore.

One of the books assigned to my class as part of our linguistics topic is a book by David Crystal titled “English as a Global Language”, which frankly did not particularly interest me.  It’s full of statistics and facts, it doesn’t allow me to be creative in any way or critical like literature or language essays do, and to be frank,  I found that to be a tad boring.

BUT (aha!) after attending a lecture by the genius himself today, my previous opinion on the topic has been trotted all over upon. David Crystal, a soon to be 70 year old professor, managed to complelty change my outlook on the topic, and captured my full attention and interest, which definitely says something about his teaching abilities.   His approach was very down-to-earth, striking and easy to relate to.  To say the least, he’s a legend, and all professors/lecturers should have him as their role-model.

I saw him as being a mashed up version of a teacher  I had last year, Mr.Spiteri and Dumbledore. A genuine compliment.

His talk titled “The Future of Englishes”, featured statistics, humour, and jokes which were mostly at the expense of Americans. (Kudoos!)

What can I say? I want more.