So I’m not sure I would go so far as to say that I’m “another uninformed sheepie in the flock of society” or a “Ditto-head wannabee,” but Jim O’Hagan makes a valid point when noting that I took the word of Roy Mark in the previous post instead of going to the primary source, the 96-page report issued by the Crimes Against Children Research Center. Ironically, we were having quite a discussion about just this topic yesterday in a workshop which (thankfully) we can continue this morning as I bring up this “teachable moment.” In his comments on the post, Jim deconstructs the survey that the article cited to show, apparently, that the pool of respondents wasn’t quite the most “average” sampling, suggesting, perhaps, that the reality about Internet predators and parental monitoring isn’t quite as rosy as it appears. And he asks, in a world where we have access to primary sources, why didn’t I go there first?
Answer? Time. Laziness. The appearance of a trusted source, though I’ll admit I’ve only read Roy Mark on occasion. In other words, the same excuses our kids will give when their research is not up to par.
A couple of observations here. First, this is the power of the blogosphere to instruct and remind. Despite being taken to task for it, I do appreciate Jim taking the time to do the work I didn’t AND, even more importantly, share the result. Second, in terms of this particular study, even Jim doesn’t go so far to deconstruct the original survey done five years ago to see if the demographics of that study were the same as this one, which if so would seem to indicate that the trends cited are valid. Third, I wonder how I can effectively strike this balance in my own practice. As my time has become less available to reading and blogging, I find it more and more difficult to maintain the practice. So, I don’t dig. The decision then is whether or not I write less often because I haven’t had the time to fully vet a story or idea, to write less deeply and just do more linking, or continue to offer stuff up with half-hearted effort in the hopes that others will edit what I write. To be honest, neither choice feels great. But it’s a more complex issue for me than most, I think for a variety of obvious reasons. Fourth, how and when do we best teach our kids this concept of editing? My seven and nine year old should be learning this…they are not.
In general, I have not been very happy of late with the work I’ve been doing here. And, as I’ve pointed out before when I get this feeling, it’s because I haven’t had the time to read. Something has to give when that happens.