Something’s just cannot be undone…Like running off to get a piece of CHWradio’s Birthday Cake and leaving your partner holding the mike. We said goodbye ten minutes early to our guest Mary Kay Hoal, Founder and President of YourSphere, who had to board a plane for New York, and as normal, after saying goodbye, I instinctively disconnected from the call. Oops,…I was to remain on the line with Bill, and finish the show talking about the last two great years and especially today, February 2nd being CHWradio’s 2nd Birthday.
I couldn’t have said much anyway, my mouth was full of Birthday cake. Like everyone else, I will have to listen to the end of the show to hear about our Birthday and the last two great years. The last two years have been outstanding for both, Bill and I, and our guests have been remarkably open and generous with sharing their years of wisdom with our listeners.
Happy Birthday CHWradio and thanks Bill for being a great friend and a dedicated partner. Moreover, I would like to say thanks to our families for allowing Bill and I the time to build and share our dream together. Without their sacrifice of personal time with us, our dedication to building a healthy Internet and empowering others how to enjoy the Internet safely would be hindered.
Mary Kay definitely falls into latter category, by building one of best social network sites dedicated not only to kids and teens, but to their ultimate safety. Mary Kay taps into the best of what kids have to offer each other without all the devious threats associated with the Internet. A site like YourSphere does not just happen; it takes dedicated people to maintain that level of protection for children. However, it is that precise level of dedication to demand safety first that makes YourSphere a place for parents to allow their children to play and grow socially while enjoying the Internet safely.
Mary Kay points out that it is about safety first and shares her approach to accomplish this:
- Parents need to be educated about what is occuring on the Internet and the different trends that are happening. Parents need to be aware.
- Parents need to know the different tools available to them that will help bridge the digital divide that exists…Understand how to use the browser history – Parental controls – Privacy settings – etc.
- Moreover, something the CyberHood Watch partners, Dave & Bill, talk about all the time and what Mary Kay reiterated and that is Communication – Communication – Communication.
Today, especially with the new media and communication devices it is imperative that parents be aware of the power of what their children carry in their pockets and/or purses. Children have access to other people’s beliefs, viewpoints, fetishes, deviant behaviors, that some parents are not even aware of their existence. That is why I like Mary Kay’s position of an “open phone policy” that allows a parent to view at any time their child’s history of where they have been.
When it comes to monitoring your child’s online activities and behavior online, the CyberHood Watch partners believe it is equally important to know who might be contacting your child, and if that unthinkable day would ever happen there will be a record of events to follow for law enforcement.
“I would love online communities to be modeled like the real world. Our kids are protected, they’re the most important part of society, there are adults only zones, kids are protected pro-actively from people that intend them harm.
I would love to see education mandated for both parents in terms of safety. That if they are going to have Internet access in their home or allow their kids to be part of a social network, and even protect themselves, there should be some baseline education just as when we drive a car, we all had to take a test, get education, and get training.
I would like identity verification, so that if you travel around the Internet world you know who everyone is because just as in the real world somebody always has a type of ID on them. I would love it if adults were kept away from children, unless if it was family of course, and I would love to focus on all the positive and wonderful things about our kids. And, I would love finally, to see sites rated so that we as parents could know if our kids we were entering a “R-17” zone, or an “X” zone, or a “PG” zone, or a “PG-13” zone. I would just like the simple application of common sense, because the solutions are out there.”
Before I forget, which I am proof it happens even on a Birthday, Mary Kay has presented CHWradio and all its listeners a bighearted Birthday Present.
Hold-on, I’m opening the gift – WOW – a full six (6) months free access to YourSphere. What a generous Birthday Present…Thank You Mary Kay!
To get you birthday present all you need to do is visit YourSphere and use the Birthday code: YS10-CYBH
Again, thanks to our families and thank you Mary Kay for such a wonderful gift.
david c ballard
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