Dear Annie: I just read a story in the newspaper about some high school boys using artificial intelligence to create nude images of girls in the same school and then posting them on social media. I also read a story earlier about something similar happening in Spain.
As the father of a grade-school daughter, I am really alarmed about what is happening with AI as it affects kids today. It is all part of social media, which can be so dangerous for children. It takes bullying to a whole new level.
I remember when there was an incident at my daughter’s school where a boy posted a photo of one of her friends and asked the other boys in the class to comment on her looks. A few were complimentary, but some were downright vicious. Can you imagine being that girl?
Maybe we need laws to keep young people off social media, just as we have laws keeping them away from alcohol and tobacco. I’m curious to hear your thoughts. – Anti-Social Media for Kids
Dear Anti-Social Media for Kids: I agree with you 100%. Social media for kids is bad enough, but throw in AI and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Bullying has been around forever, but when today’s adults were kids, if they were bullied, it was private and temporary. But on social media, bullying is permanent; it is almost impossible to remove a digital footprint – and public. Everyone sees it. No wonder there has been an increase in the number of teenage suicides.
Based on the number of letters I have been receiving on this subject, the politicians need to unite in clamping down on the forces that are making this nightmare of public and permanent bullying possible.
Dear Annie: Regarding your response to “Not a Family Holiday in PA,” I had a similar dilemma with my children from a former marriage, my in-laws, my ex’s family and then my adult children’s new in-laws.
My solution was to celebrate each and every holiday on the Saturday after. I didn’t want my children to have to pick and choose where they spent the holiday, and I much preferred having them all together. I told them all that I was going to be selfish (wink, wink) and didn’t want them to be running around. I wanted them just to spend the whole day together. It worked very well for us for just over 20 years. Now those ex in-laws have all passed away and their father is no longer in the picture, so things have become much simpler.
My one daughter-in-law has since taken on hosting duties, and we all gather at their house the day of. I sometimes think they actually miss the “series” of celebrations that we used to have. Plus, I had the added bonus of being able to hit all those after-Christmas sales and pad my gift-giving abilities!
Hope this offers others with the same dilemma a different solution. – Mom of Five in California
Dear Mom of Five: Thank you for your suggestion. You are very creative and warm-hearted, and your solution was wonderful and will help others.
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