IMSafer: Helping Responsible Parents
My wife and I were talking about personal responsibility last night. It was the age-old debate about who to blame for the state of the world. More specifically, the state of children (we are both teachers). We both recognized that there are companies actively marketing products, services, and entertainment to teenagers that is clearly inappropriate for their age. As most of these conversations go, we both agreed that in a free-market based economy, the people still have the power (whether they use it or not). We can always vote with our money and time. Parents have the added burden of keeping tabs on their children and the choice they make.
I encountered IMSafer a couple weeks ago and, to be honest with you, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. The site/software monitors chats and notifies you via email if something fishy seems to be going on. I worry about parents who keep such a tight grip on their children that the kids end up more deviant. IMSafer has the potential of being used in an abusive way. I suppose it would depend on how you went about using it.
Looking at the product information, the site claims to have talked with law enforcement officials about how inappropriate relationships are initiated and maintained. The monitor can even pick up leet. My wife and I do not have children, so we really have no arena to test this product. I would love to hear from others who try it. It does have the potential of being a powerful tool for parents to keep tabs on their children without standing over the child’s shoulder all day and night.