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Grandmother, tell us your story
1998, April (February 23, 2007)
By Ann-Marie Grissino, Principal of Keypoint Consultants, a documentation and media design firm

"Our privacy has been invaded."
Have you had to turn off your child's computer because you saw Internet illustrations that you don't want your child to see? Have you had to talk to your children about Internet pornography? Have you heard news about how strangers are entering your homes and meeting your family members? How do you cope with this invasion of your privacy?

Ask your grandmother (or great-grandmother). She knows what to do.

"We all seem to huddle around it and want more."
How many hours are you accessing the Web? People talk about Internet addictions; are you addicted to needing more information? What can or should you do?

Ask your grandmother. She knows.

"I want to know what's going on right now."
If you didn't log onto the Internet for two weeks, would you feel out of it? Do you want to find out the latest and don't want to wait until even the next newscast?

Communication streams at you faster and faster. You still want more. Is this healthy?

Ask your grandmother.

"The Internet is good for society."
You can get information from around the globe so easily and much more quickly than you could without the Internet. The Internet is good for society, good for the nation ... well, that's what people say.

Ask your grandmother what she did to handle information explosion.

Your Grandmother Knows
You see, your grandmother went through this -all of it- with the invasion of radio communication (or television) into her home. She went through the same problems you're facing today: invasion of privacy, information explosion, and the inability to control what was coming out of the box.

The medium is different, but the issues are the same. Think about it.

Radio communication changed how people got their information. All of a sudden, people obtained the news right in their own homes and much more quickly. They got more types of information more often. The only way to control what was coming out of that box was to turn it off. And, people huddled around radios.

All of a sudden, your grandmother had strangers talking inside her house, espousing a new product or a new idea. She didn't know what they might say next. Did she want these strangers promoting their values on her family?

History has a strange way of repeating itself and we're coming around the circle again. Look around you.

Talk to your grandmother.

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