Tuesday, 15 December 2015

The Internet Is A Friend Not A Foe

The Internet is a friend not a foe
But politics tell me that this is not so 
When they are planning to ban teens between the ages of thirteen and sixteen 
From accessing the 'net unless they have parental consent
Teachers tell me they do not agree
Because it is reducing my creative ability 
Many tell me that this is not the case
When they accuse it of influencing the sentences I phrase 

But I can tell you, firsthand, that if it was not for the Internet, I would not be combining these words
The Internet has given me a creative outlet when I had none offline
The Internet has helped my find my voice when I could barely crack a word offline 
The Internet has introduced me to interests that I did not know to exist offline 
But do not think of me to be naive 
I know how horrible the Internet can be 
As I have been insulted online
I have been shunned online
I have been upset online 
But none of that matches the fear that is brought upon me
 By the horror stories I hear offline of the online world
Yet at the end of the day, the online planet and the offline planet are not too different in terms of danger

What we all seem to forget is that the Internet is where our LGBT teens can feel accepted and safe
When they are yet to come out offline 
It's where our teens with stutters, social anxiety and shyness can find and share their voices
It's where are physically ill teens can connect safely and find resources 
It's where are mentally ill teens can research helplines and find resources 
And if you deprive these teens of these resources because you feel the Internet is not safe
Not only are you potentially isolating them from this information
But you are also expect them 
To understand how to use a resource such as the Internet safely in three years time ?

And when it is said that the Internet is giving us too much of this information
It's because no one else is 
Our Social, Personal and Health Education is a censored version of reality 
The news skips the facts that they don't want us to see
Mainstream teen publications tell us that a date and the perfect body is all that we need 
Well, our young minds carry a brain 
We're asking for information that is real !

By proposing new laws that require parents to give Internet consent to their teens between thirteen and sixteen 
It is also being forgotten that so many are not encouraged to have a voice at home so how will they ever gain consent to use that voice online

Heck ! Instead of potentially turning parents and children against each other over a screen 
Combine the two parties and educate both ! 

Educate parents on the ins and outs of the Internet 
Educate teens not to hide their online presence and social media accounts from their parents 
Educate people that nothing on the Internet is private 
Whatever you share online stays online forever 

Should we not be focusing on teaching all people how to use the Internet responsibly
Rather than eliminating one age group from such as great resource ?

The Internet is a friend not a foe
You need a healthy relationship with it 
The Internet is a friend not a foe
Don't rely on or base your self-esteem off it 
The Internet is a friend not a foe 
Make safe and fair use of it


I've been wanting to write this for several months now but after getting so wound up at midnight because of the news that the new EU Data Protection Laws could ban those between the ages of thirteen and sixteen from using the Internet, I had to write !

This was meant to be a slam poem and solely a video, you can watch it here. Unfortunately, I've a bad habit of stuttering in situations similar to public speaking so I did end up improvising at some points which is why I've shared the whole thing on here too,

I'd love to hear your opinion on the possibility of these new laws and what you think of the Internet Age in general - I am open to all opinions,

Grace x


  1. I personally don't see the point in the EU banning 13-16 years old off social media because how are they going to regulate the parental consent and also you can lie about your age. I see where they're coming from but I think it should be under 12s that should be, not banned but slightly restricted on some social media. This won't just effect the users, it'll also effect the companies that have a high audience that are under the age of 16.

    1. Exactly ! Social media companies will definitely be affected on a huge scale

  2. Wow, I had not heard about the potential ban. While I understand the thought behind it....I think it is a mistake to try and put that into motion. I remember being a teenager and having few friends in real life. But on the Internet? I would post my writing, talk to people in other countries, and feel like I belonged somewhere. Kids need that.


    1. Completely agree ! It's good intentions in one sense but they're forgetting the bigger picture.


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