Beyond the Fence

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You’ve done it!

After much persistence, you’ve finally taken the initiative to visit the TAG office one evening and had content control (commonly referred to as a filter) installed on your device(s). Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for successfully checking off this crucial task from your to-do list. Your commitment to safeguarding yourself and your family from the potential hazards of the internet deserves silent applause.

Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Indeed, it is a significant step in the right direction, but it’s just the beginning.

While acquiring a filter is undeniably important, the reality is that the internet presents a more profound and subtler challenge that filters alone cannot address. The rapid pace of technological development and the effortless convenience it offers are reshaping our interactions with people and the world at large, often without us even realizing it. These changes come with hidden costs.

We find ourselves captivated by the allure of the internet, gradually becoming immersed in online culture. Allow me to provide an example: Were you aware that Android and iOs smartphones and tablets come with numerous pre-installed apps? Now, you might say, “Most of them are perfectly fine!” That might be true. However, how many of these apps do users actually uninstall? The issue isn’t necessarily the apps themselves but the fact that we, as users, are relinquishing control over the technologies we use and the information to which we’re exposed. What’s happening is that digital culture is dictating the information presented to us. This is a peril that’s far more insidious than inappropriate content and one we must remain constantly vigilant against. It’s crucial to periodically ask yourself, “Are my standards for digital media aligned with my personal values?” Complacency can easily creep in, and this is a challenge that filters cannot address.

Is internet access essential for our daily lives in the 21st century? Absolutely, it’s the reality we face. However, we must consistently take an active role in discerning what is truly necessary and what is not. This way, our devices remain tools that serve us rather than becoming our masters.

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