The lesson begins with a family set up, as it is easier to depict the horrifying consequences of cyber attacks. The theme is given an introduction with one of the children in the family having a need to quench his thirst for knowledge. The family comprises a dad, mom and two children Gladin and Rani.
Parents with son and daughter
Gladin seeks help from his mother for his homework. Usually, homework is given by a teacher to check the student's understanding of the class. But sometimes, students may find difficulty in bringing on the understanding into practical use and may need help. In the earlier days, there were very few opportunities to do any kind of research for homework or project. One had to go to the library and go through numerous books in order to collect a small detail. But with the advent of the internet, one can just surf through it and take the necessary details.
Gladin is at a loss as he is supposed to know about a screw gauge for his homework. A screw gauge is a device used for the accurate measurement of tiny components. It is usually associated with physics. The internet has information about all the subjects and one can choose as to what he/she wants. Gladin's mother, therefore, suggests him to check the internet to get information about the screw gauge. The lesson starts with an introduction about the advantages of the internet rather than bashing it outright. It later goes on to show the both sides. Gladin and his mom find out the details about the screw gauge in a jiffy on the internet and he makes use of it.
As parents of two children, mom and dad are quite anxious about Gladin and Rani's well-being. They discuss about them now and then to make sure that they do not get themselves into trouble. Children can be lured by the various aspects of technology and the digital world, that they may not really pay heed to their own privacy and safety. This is where the role of parents comes into significance. It is important for them to make the children aware of both the advantages and disadvantages of technology. It is also healthy for the parents to monitor their children's usage of social media and other activities.
Mom monitoring child's online activities
Dad enquires with mom as to where Gladin and Rani are. Mom, who had earlier helped Gladin find information about the screw gauge for his physics project, informs the same to dad. Since it is beneficial to use technology to learn new things and sharpen one's skill, dad appreciates it. But when mom talks about Rani, she is slightly doubtful, as in the recent times, Rani appears to be frightened of something. When one's daughter is stressed about something, a parent can easily make out that something is troubling her and that she is not her usual self.
Dad talks to Rani
Dad is startled to hear that Rani is scared of something and wants to help. He guesses that his daughter might be scared of someone who is threatening her online. People who threaten online can go to the extent of giving death threats and it is easy for a teenager to get scared. It strikes to mom that he might be right and she is also concerned. They decide to call Rani and talk to her as it is very important for parents to sit down and understand what their children are going through.
Rani, who is only a child, is sceptical about opening up about her problem to her parents. She has a dull face which indicates that she is stressed. Her father understands the situation and does not pressurise her, rather he talks to her with care. Instead of bombarding her with questions, he calmly asks her what was wrong. He also mentions that he had observed that she had been dull off late.
Rani is stressed when she thinks of the online predator
Rani initially tries to dodge the questions by saying that she is alright. She is scared that dad might scold her for chatting online with a stranger. But dad makes her aware that he is only there to help her. When children hide things from their parents, it causes them more trouble. The reason they mostly hide is that they are scared of their reaction. But in reality, things get better when people voice out their problems, especially to elders, as they are more experienced. Once Rani gets the confidence, she expresses her fear that the online predator can cause her trouble by visiting her.
Child opening up about problems to parent
It is important for parents to understand that children are less exposed to the real world and are easily prone to be manipulated by strangers. Sometimes what seems to be a really big issue to the children's eyes may in fact be a small crisis. This is why they have to trust that their parents can help them.
She says that she had unknowingly revealed her name, address, age and all other personal information. Initially, he had managed to gather this information from her by sweet talking. He then slowly changed his colour and revealed the evil person that he is. He even uses foul language to her in order to threaten her. He is also cunning enough to know that his plans might not work if she informs her parents and therefore threatens her to cause harm to her family members. This is just a trick that he uses as he knows that emotional blackmail can easily influence young children.
Online predator asking for personal details
Rani's father is very mature and he understands that the online predator is only taking advantage of Rani's fear. In reality, he cannot harm her if she is not scared and bravely faces him. He could easily be caught by the cyber police if a complaint is lodged. Cyber police is the department specially trained for handling any kind of theft, threatening or harm that is caused online. Rani's father gives instructions as to what she has to do and how she has to react to the situation. The first step is not to respond to texts or calls. The online predator gets triggered only when someone talks back to him. He promises her that if the problem continues then, he would report to the police. Rani is finally relieved that she does not have to be stressed about the predator coming home to attack her.
Mom realises that Rani has got herself into trouble because of a lack of awareness on cyber safety. She, therefore, asks dad to explain it to them easily. Since she sees that dad is very understanding with his kids, there is no better person than him to explain this complex thing to them in simple terms. Dad does not just think that only girls are at risk with internet predators. Everyone is equally at risk, irrespective of gender. So he wants Gladin's presence as well.
After Gladin comes, dad starts teaching both his children on why it is important to be safe when one is using the internet. He sets about explaining that social media is to get in touch with already existing friends. Sometimes a friend, relative or known person may lose contact as they move away owing to their studies or work. Social media helps them to stay in touch with their dear ones. But there is no necessity for one to chat with random strangers online, especially in the case of children. One can always make new friends and know more about them. But it is totally unwise for anyone to disclose personal details to them before getting to know them in person. One must never place his/her trust completely on a stranger. They may take details such as an address, phone number and misuse them.
Online fraud and theft
Online predators have a knack of talking in a really friendly way and getting information. They pose as a close friend and later misuse the very information for theft, threatening, and cheating.
Dad clearly states that every technological advancement has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is up to the user to make the best out of every new invention. For example, it helps us in terms of entertainment. When a person is bored, he/she can watch a movie of their own interest. They can listen to the music of their choice when they are doing any chores. There are also games and other activities that can entertain anyone who is using the internet.
The real problem starts when a person gets addicted to the use of technology. For example, there are several instances of very young children getting addicted to games like pubg, and losing out on their lives. They fail to realise that there is a beautiful world outside to witness and enjoy. They miss out on time with their family or the general things that are important in life. Dad also says that apart from emotional and mental health reasons, there can also be physical hazards due to overuse of technology.
Too much of screen time can actually affect the eyesight of a person. This is because the rays cause extra strain on the muscles below the eyes, which helps one to focus. There is also a chance that one does not get to blink when seeing a screen, which is bad for one's health. This affects certain nerves that connect vision with the brain, giving headache. Looking at a device can also give one a bad posture. This can also lead to financial problems as one might be too lazy to work and would choose scrolling through the device, thereby putting off work.
Addiction makes people like zombies without emotions
But dad does not completely ignore the advantages of technology or the internet, as they can aid in educational and entertainment purposes. It is important that one knows the limits and use it only in a beneficial way. The family agrees to this and learn their lessons about cyber safety.