Parents need to know the risks of the digital age

A reader says to protect children from the dangers of the digital world, parents need to have adequate digital literacy. iStock Photos
A reader says to protect children from the dangers of the digital world, parents need to have adequate digital literacy. iStock Photos

With reference to Ayesha Almazroui’s opinion article We need an app for a tech-safe childhood (December 15), I don’t think checking up on your kids or adolescents is the way forward.

In the UK, laptop, tablet and PC manufacturers have their own way of dealing with this issue, known as parental controls. My sister-in-law has set up parental controls on their laptops so that when my niece and nephews log in, they can access the internet, but Facebook and Twitter are blocked as are other websites my family has deemed contain inappropriate content for children of their age.

The iPad has guided access. This locks a child into an app or the internet, with the facility that allows parents to block their kids from opening new tabs. It is password protected and with a little imagination kids will not be able to access the code. There are ways and means, but it all boils down to parental responsibility, and as the article clearly states many of these parents did not grow up in the digital age and therefore lack digital literacy.

Perhaps this issue should be addressed first, so parents get up to speed and then they might be more aware of the dangers that lurk on the internet instead of being blissfully blind to what their kids are getting up to online.

Name withheld by request

I don’t have children, but I think parents have to go to any lengths to protect their children, because at the end of the day children do not know what is best for them. It’s the job of parents to protect them. There are huge dangers lurking behind the keyboard, so parents have to be cautious.

Kadija Muhammad, Abu Dhabi

Hard to miss Madigan’s novel

My favourite new novel is Khawla’s Wall by Andrew Khaled Madigan (Our top five books this week: Robert Bausch’s latest and more, December 11). The book is about Dubai, where I come from, the economic development of the Gulf region and the conflict between tradition and progress. There are stunningly beautiful descriptions of life in the UAE in the 1960s. The style of writing reminds me of the works of Mahfouz, Kafka, Theroux, and especially Mohammed Al Murr, the Emirati short-fiction writer.

Suad Ali, Dubai

Any artificial food is bad for us

It’s not just junk food, but all food that is not naturally grown or produced that poison our system as they contain chemicals and preservatives (Junk food served in Abu Dhabi hospitals should be ‘banned’, December 15). Some of us see or feel the effects on our bodies at a young age, others later. I am in my 50s and I already have major health issues. Now I am trying to rid my body of toxins.

Dolores Basilio, Dubai

I don’t think junk food should be banned in hospitals. As long as the patient is getting the diet they require for a healthy recovery, then it is up to visitors to choose what food they wish to consume. Junk food and healthy food should both be available.

Name withheld by request

No poetic legacy in Bollywood

It’s an irony that while many Indian film personalities have been able to keep their brand names alive with the entry of their sons and daughters, such as the Bachchans, Kapoors or Roshans, there has been a dearth when it comes to musicians and lyricists.

Roshan Nagrath, who was a Bollywood music composer, was succeeded by music director Rajesh and film director Rakesh, and Jatin Lalit continued where their composer dad had left off, but not a single poet has left any legacy.

A young Shakeel, a Majrooh, a Hasrat Jaipuri or an Anand Bakshi “clone” would have ensured a continuance of a legacy of those who embellished Hindi cinema for so many decades.

While it is not the intention to denigrate the current crop, any avid follower of the great classics of yore will agree that the era of song writing just faded away with their demise.

Nitin (the son of Mukesh), Aziz (son of Mohammed Rafi) and Amit (son of Kishore Kumar) have continued to punt their respective (singing) family trade, but the continuance of poetic licence on the part of heirs of past giants is threadbare.

AR Modak, South Africa

Published: December 16, 2014 04:00 AM


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