Thinks before you click.

This is the advocacy of a premiere news channel in the country. It calls the responsible use of social networking such as Facebook, Twitter and Friendster.

Indeed, computer is now a necessity. With its diverse applications and increasing affordability, computers are everywhere. With a computer and an internet connection, the world is just a click away. Google can answer almost anything under the sun even beyond the space in just a few ticks. Youtube can make us entertained with its archives of amazing and funny videos. Skype can cone friends, relatives and even business partners that are miles apart through video streaming and conferencing. Facebook reunites long lost friends and relives long lost relationships through photos and posts. With internet, your mom can download recipes of Filipino dishes, your dad can watch Pacquiao’s fight, your sister can buy new shoes and your brother can find answer to his homework. The possibilities are limitless with internet. These seemed no limits in its scope and application.

But let us go to the other side of the coin. With no bound in the information that it can channel, internet cater influx of “inappropriate” articles, images and videos. Moreover, it can serve as medium for illegal transactions and acts such as human trafficking, selling illegal goods, bullying, scams, pornography, scandals and many more. Everything is possible.

It is alarming that children are not free from these “inappropriate” articles, images and videos. Most kids now are knowledgeable about computer and about the internet. A simple click can lead them to “inappropriate” sites. A simple click can pollute their minds and to some points make them believe that lies are truths. We often hear in news about girls sexually abused by persons they only knew through social networking sites. These are truly horrific and it can be repeated to anyone who does not think before clicking.

Internet is an avenue for speedy acquisition and services we need in one fast-paced life. But to enjoy it to the fullest, we must use it with responsibility. We must be extremely careful and cautious about things we put and we take from it. A single click can make us closer to jeopardy. Parents must guide their children in surfing the net. As much as possible they must provide filters for theirs internet browsers to ensure that malicious and inappropriate sites would not be explored by their innocent children. Teachers, as second parents, must help in instilling to youths the importance of responsible use of the internet. Youth on the other hand, must realize that everything has limitations including the use of internet.

Every action has consequence. We need not just click but think well before we click.

By: Ms. Antonia M. De Vega | Master Teacher I | Parang Elementary School, Bagac, Bataan

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