Why I don't post more topics.

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Why I don't post more topics.

Postby Slim » Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:04 pm

This is in response to that topic a while back that suggested we all make new topics regularly. It did well for a bit, but apparently, we decided to go back to our old, slow ways.

So, anyway, reasons I don't post more topics:

#1 -- It's usually a "I don't know where I'm going with this, but I wanted to point this out and now its your turn to discuss. Take it where you want" This is one of those threads. Sometimes they work out, sometimes not.

#2 -- I already know it would be a stupid topic, and no one will reply, or those that do will say "I agree" This is probably one of those threads.

#3 -- Local news. Last election I was thinking about making a thread about school vouchers, as it was a hot topic in the news. I've also wanted to talk about Legacy Parkway that Utah finally began building after being sued my environmentalists. But do people really care enough to talk about issues in other states? I don't know, but let me know.

#4 -- News with no link. I get my news from the radio and paper. I guess I could start a topic that says, "6.0 Earthquake strikes Nevada! People all across western states felt it! If I felt it I probably thought it was a train!" ... But it seems links are the proper protocol, especially because half the time people don't know what you are talking about.

#5 -- Timing. Who cares about "old news?" For example, why post a topic on that Earthquake, when it was like, a week ago?

#6 -- Questions. Sometimes I'm tempted to just make a topic that asks "Who is Hannah Montana anyway?" or similar things. But then the first post would be, "If you really wanted to know, you would have googled it." And you know what? You'd be right.

#7 -- Accomplishments. I don't want people to think I'm out bragging about myself. For example, when I made an awesome Dr. Who music video, I wanted to let everyone know, but at the same time, I didn't want everyone to think I just wanted to increase my view count. Luckily someone else made the topic about AMVs. Big accomplishments seem appropriate, but, where do I draw the line?

#8 -- Appropriateness. Here, for me, its just a general cluelessness as to what topics I should do in the religion forum. If I don't post anything that is proselyting, asking questions I already know the answer to, and useless speculating, what does that leave? I guess "What do ____ believe about ____" Hmm...

#9 -- Stuff in general that doesn't need a whole topic. There are a lot of things that are better as one post within another topic. Dear You and Dear Bob seem to cover much of this category.

#10 -- Apathy. I would write a descriptive paragraph here, but why should I?
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Postby neo-dragon » Mon Feb 25, 2008 5:47 pm

The other end of the spectrum is hatrack, where people seem to start threads every time they have a hangnail. :roll:

I think that the problem here isn't that each of us doesn't start enough threads, it's just that there aren't all that many regular posters here. How many different people actually post on Pweb in the span of a week? And any given thread will only elicit responses from certain members. We need to stop scaring the newbies away.
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Postby Luet » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:11 pm

I think pweb is great just the way it is.

*hugs pweb*
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Postby Rei » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:14 pm

I do wonder how many different people post on average in a given week and how much that overlaps from week to week.

Hopefully now that the spamming seems to be dealt with, we will see more members showing up. Now if only we had a way of distributing drugs through the nets we could keep 'em here.
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Postby Wind Swept » Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:29 pm

Must resist... Not enough time for making spreadsheets...
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Postby Rei » Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:02 pm

Doooo it... You have time. Those other things you think you have to do aren't as interesting, anyway.
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Postby Gravity Defier » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:11 pm

#5 Seeing as my town has had about 7 earthquakes in the 4.7-5.4 range in the past 2 weeks, sometimes two in one day, I care very much about earthquakes. Even if they are in Nevada. *paranoid*

#6 Hannah Montana is my not so guilty, guilty pleasure show. I think I've managed to see all the episodes thanks to all the marathons they have on the Disney Channel.




I've thought about starting a teacher stories thread, but I feel weird doing that because it's not as interesting as other occupations. But I'll throw two quickies in here.

1: I asked my 1st period class in a bellwork prompt "If you could change one thing in history, what would it be and what changes do you think would come about as a result?" Or something along those lines. This darling of mine writes, "I would change last weekend, because it was boring for me. It would change the world because I would have had fun." Doh?

2: Two of my students are going to be separated by a restraining order because their parents found a huge stack of notes in which they describe the many ways they'd like to have sex. They're 13/14. Ugh.
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Postby neo-dragon » Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:25 pm



I've thought about starting a teacher stories thread, but I feel weird doing that because it's not as interesting as other occupations. But I'll throw two quickies in here.
The hell it isn't! Well I guess maybe I'm a bit biased. I don't really have any good stories though. Maybe a few rants... And I have (or had, since I think I've thrown out most of them) some funny notification of suspension letters pertaining to the actions of some of my less promising students from last semester.

In any case, maybe it's not a good idea to post that sort of stuff about students. Well, actually, one harmless tidbit is the fact that I have a 9th grader who's 6'8''! He makes me think of Bean in his later years, which is funny because when I was a student-teacher I had a kid who was really small but really bright, and he reminded be of Bean in his early years. Last semester I also caught a kid reading Ender's Game in my class. Incidentally, he ended up with one of the highest marks in the class.
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Postby Wil » Mon Feb 25, 2008 10:52 pm

2: Two of my students are going to be separated by a restraining order because their parents found a huge stack of notes in which they describe the many ways they'd like to have sex. They're 13/14. Ugh.
I'd actually like to hear more about this. More specifically if one of the notes had the word "pooper" used in some fashion or another to describe one of the desired acts. </chan>

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Postby eriador » Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:00 pm

Oh Wil! I lolled. hahahaha. Oh my.

anyway... back on topic: I'm pretty much with Slim on most of his points... though the first, I think is silly. It might only work 10 percent of the time, but it can really get a conversation going, at least for a while. If we don't have those flashes in the pan this place gets very boring and same-y. all about dissertations (and internships i guess) and babies, which are too real-world for my liking. I'm looking for something different here, which flash-in-the-pan topics provide. Also, re: #7, remember that it's not bragging if you're really that good ;)

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Postby starlooker » Tue Feb 26, 2008 1:59 am

*shrugs*

(Obviously, I hope, the following is meant to be taken with a grain of common sense.)

I tend to think, post what's on your mind at the moment, and let it sink or swim. If people are interested, they'll post. If not, woohoo, big deal, the thread goes to the bottom of the page. I think it is rather silly to be overly concerned about whether people will think that what you have to say is too old, too local, too personal, etc. I come to a webboard to read about people and their lives and thoughts. Some threads I follow, some I don't. However, when I open a thread it turns out I don't want to follow, my reaction is not, "How dare that person post? Why on earth would they think that topic was important enough for our precious pweb?"

As long as it isn't spam, blatantly offensive, or something with three or four obviously similar threads on the first page, why would any of these topics actually be a problem? It takes all of, what, ten seconds for me to open a topic, glance at it, and decide if I want to pursue it or not. Since I come here on purpose looking for people's posts and topics (and often to procrastinate), that task is hardly out of my way.

Yes, things can go too far in the opposite direction, but somehow I doubt that will ever be pweb's major problem.
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Postby zeroguy » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:18 am

If people are interested, they'll post. If not, woohoo, big deal, the thread goes to the bottom of the page.
Indeed; that's what I was thinking throughout most of the thread/slim's post. What do you have to lose, Slim, by making a thread you're not sure will work?
I've thought about starting a teacher stories thread, but I feel weird doing that because it's not as interesting as other occupations. But I'll throw two quickies in here.
Reminds me, I wanted to ask your thoughts on this and this. Hmm... should that go in its own thread?
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Postby BonitoDeMadrid » Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:42 pm

I've thought about starting a teacher stories thread, but I feel weird doing that because it's not as interesting as other occupations. But I'll throw two quickies in here.
Actually, if all the stories were like the ones you just posted, I would be very interested in reading them, and I'm sure (by the comments here) that I'm not the only one.
1: I asked my 1st period class in a bellwork prompt "If you could change one thing in history, what would it be and what changes do you think would come about as a result?" Or something along those lines. This darling of mine writes, "I would change last weekend, because it was boring for me. It would change the world because I would have had fun." Doh?
<nerd> Lol! </nerd> Seriously though, that is kind of funny, and it's also an amazing question to ask in class. I've had that thought many times: What happens if I change a crucial moment in history, or a life? Most of the times, I would disappear as result of that change.
2: Two of my students are going to be separated by a restraining order because their parents found a huge stack of notes in which they describe the many ways they'd like to have sex. They're 13/14. Ugh.
In a world where kids start smoking cigarettes when they're 14, sometimes even 13, alcohol is cheaper to get in some countries than medicine and nobody does much about these things- are you really surprised?
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Postby VelvetElvis » Tue Feb 26, 2008 4:28 pm

I'm pretty sure she is more surprised at the restraining order. The little hormones in tennis shoes act that way pretty much allthe time, I'd bet.
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Postby eriador » Tue Feb 26, 2008 8:20 pm

Hey! We're into substance abuse as well as sex! Puh-lease ;)

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Postby Gravity Defier » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:14 pm

In a world where kids start smoking cigarettes when they're 14, sometimes even 13, alcohol is cheaper to get in some countries than medicine and nobody does much about these things- are you really surprised?
Am I really surprised? Yes and no.

No because most of the parents of the students aren't major players in their children's lives. Most of these kids have free reign outside of school and so do whatever they want.

Yes because I can't understand, on a deeper level, that mostly good people can do stupid things.
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Postby Gravity Defier » Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:38 pm


Reminds me, I wanted to ask your thoughts on this and this. Hmm... should that go in its own thread?
Much to my dismay, I've had to think an awful lot about things in that article or related topics lately and I'm finding it rather difficult to draw a line somewhere.

I think bullying is wrong, in person or online. I think threats are wrong, in person or online. Normally, I'd take a stance of "let the parents do the policing" for things such as myspace/facebook and let the school take care of things at school. That is not something we can rely on here, unfortunately.

Parents here (generalizing) are not reliable as watchdogs for their own children. 9 times out of 10, when I call home about a student, I get an accusatory tone of "Why isn't this something you're taking care of? How is this my problem?"

I hear stories, from the students, about how they're left to watch themselves and younger siblings while mom or dad (usually don't have both) work at night.

I have zero faith that parents here have even an inkling as to what happens on myspace (pictures and comments). I have seen about 40 of my former and current students' myspace pages -sometimes at their request, sometimes not. The pictures, the language...I get ashamed on behalf of some of them. Girls, who are barely 13 or 14 baring almost all of what nature just gave them to perfect strangers.

I haven't reported any yet. I don't know that it's in my power to do anything about it. Honestly, the students tell me worse stories (where I do have to report things at times) than what I've found online. That and most wizened up and locked their pages.

Bullying teachers? Spreading rumors? I am scared out of my mind that it will happen to me and thus I follow the CYA policy - cover your ass- since an accusation is usually all it takes to ruin someone's career. If in a room with less than a full class, door stays open. If alone with a member of the opposite sex, they sit by the door and I stay in plain view of the door at all times. If something too personal is brought up, inform them it will be reported to a counselor prior to the talk (i.e. "I need you to know there is a chance I'll need to report this, so please feel free to continue or abort as you wish). Even all of that is not enough to really protect a teacher if a student has it in for them.

I like the idea of protecting teachers from threats or bullying from the students. I don't know that I think the "Hot for teacher" thing or the fat leg comments were bad enough to legislate against, but I do understand how they could pose a problem in the classroom. Violent threats, rumors of the nature that can lead to lawsuits (pedophilia, for instance)...those I'd like to see legal protection on.

How to find this stuff before it harms the teacher? Good god, I don't think that's really possible. We don't allow cameras at school (but I think I read a parent taped that teacher?!), phones are banned during school hours, we are advised to keep personal pages locked from students if we have them. We do what we have the power to do. But you can't block the kids outside of school from these sites, parents can't watch that closely all the time, schools don't have the manpower or money to hire someone who polices them and a part of me that was once a student finds it offensive that someone might police everyone in that way.

Lots of rambling. Very little decisiveness there. Blame it on the fear that I'll one day be a victim.
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Postby zeroguy » Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:24 am

I think bullying is wrong, in person or online. I think threats are wrong, in person or online. Normally, I'd take a stance of "let the parents do the policing" for things such as myspace/facebook and let the school take care of things at school. That is not something we can rely on here, unfortunately.

Parents here (generalizing) are not reliable as watchdogs for their own children. 9 times out of 10, when I call home about a student, I get an accusatory tone of "Why isn't this something you're taking care of? How is this my problem?"
I get this feeling more and more consistently as I see rants from more teachers. That parents just don't think it's their responsibility or whatnot. I think I first heard this on those "I am a Japanese schoolteacher" editorials, but now I see it just seems the same everywhere. (Or, well, "everywhere" in certain areas/demographics/whatever.)

But I don't really see it feasible/possible for parents to be aware of what goes on on myspace (except in the cases where they post all of their personal info for anyone to see). It would seem like it's not even possible for anyone to know who someone in particular is, unless you go around interrogating the kids.

(I don't go near myspace, but I assume it's just like most sites I knew when I was growing up, where not only anonymity but anonymity with recognition is trivial to achieve.)

Edit: Oh, and good job on not being stupid so far. What you describe sounds rather scary, but your measures of covering your ass looks like you just might know what you're doing! Heh.
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Postby jotabe » Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:39 am

And they never thought about using a restraining order for the parents of those kids, so they can't destroy their lives any further?

For one, that's just the natural curiosity about sex at those ages. Yeah 13-14 y.o. is very young, and definitely, imo is too young to have sex. But just try to remember how it was being that age.
If they were writing each other about it, they were mutually fantasizing about it... they probably weren't going to do it any time soon.
Punishing that behaviour, further than the logical punishment of exchanging notes in class, is not really advisable (sex has enough complications as it is, as to confuse them even further). Getting a judicial restraint order for two minors on each other is downright retarded. Romeo&Juliet, here we go again.

What if they were going to actually go through with their fantasies? Well, then punishing their parents would even be more necessary, as it would be obvious the parents failed as such, failed to give them sexual education, moral grounds, self-respect, etc...

Zeroguy: actually i think it's the parent's job to control their children's myspace, or whatever they do in their net. Problem is that nowadays parents have simply forfeited their responsibility as parents. While you have a child living off you under your roof, registered as your son or daughter, whatever they do is your responsibility. So you have to take care of whatever happens, and know or try to know whatever they do, until they prove they are responsible and can start to be given partial trust. But many parents nowadays simply think "he is old enough, he can do this without supervision" -even if the kid is way too young for it-, or even worse "let him do his thing so he won't bother me making me exert my parental duties".
And then, when something goes wrong, they blame the teacher. Or worse, they go to the judge.
Sadly, no judge in the western world has enough tools/courage to imprision these parents for neglect of their children.
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Postby Dr. Mobius » Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:20 am

If they were writing each other about it, they were mutually fantasizing about it... they probably weren't going to do it any time soon.
Or they've already done it and were making plans for things to try next time.
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Postby Luet » Wed Feb 27, 2008 6:51 am

For one, that's just the natural curiosity about sex at those ages. Yeah 13-14 y.o. is very young, and definitely, imo is too young to have sex. But just try to remember how it was being that age.
If they were writing each other about it, they were mutually fantasizing about it... they probably weren't going to do it any time soon.
I wonder if culture is different here in the US. I was 13-14 nearly 20 years ago (I'm 31 now), so I can only imagine that things have gotten worse in the intervening years. When I was in 8th grade, I had a number of female friends who had sex for the first time with high school guys in ways that they regretted later. They had bad family situations and were pretty much looking for validation. And my group of friends consisted of the relatively good, nerdy variety.
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Postby jotabe » Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:26 am

the average age over here for the first sex relationship is 16-17 y.o., depending on your gender, and in the statistics there was (afaik) a severe cutoff at 15 y.o.) meaning there were very few people who had it any earlier. Still, there were a non-negligible amount of first experiences at 14, but none younger than that.
Still from my experience (and i am 28, so it's 14 years ago from me), the dirty notes were popular since 12-13...
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Postby SaintDrogo » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:36 am

The dirty notes and such were definitely a thing like 10 years ago when I was that age, but I can also remember being shocked, sitting behind two 13-year-old boys in mass and hearing that one of them had sex with his girlfriend, another girl in our grade. So I dunno... they were kind of following through, I guess, but you never know how much is talk.
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Postby jotabe » Wed Feb 27, 2008 10:52 am

Talking about this with my parents brought them back to the past, when kids 12+ y.o. would "play doctors". And it was a kind of normal thing, although highly discouraged by the parents.
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Postby Wil » Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:55 pm

Speaking of MySpace, a girl who used to live next door moved to Reno with her father. After about a year I got curious and googled her full name "first middle last" and came upon her MySpace. Her school, her town, and her full name were all there and she's a fairly attractive young girl (15 at the time). I made a MySpace account (cringe) and told her that it is not such a good idea to have so much information in such a public manner. A few weeks later nothing had changed, so I got on whitepages.com and found everyone number with her last name in Reno. I used sprintrelayonline.com and called every one simply asking for her name. After about the fourth call someone finally recognized the name and said she was at school, so I asked for her cell number (figured I'd call that next and freak her out). After her grandma couldn't find it (no questions asked), she asked who I was. At that point I told her that perhaps her granddaughter shouldn't keep her full name, town, and school on the internet, on MySpace, and hung up. The next day her age jumped up to 19 and she was now from Illinois and her profile was private.

I eventually told her mother who still lived next door at the time, and she thanked me. What really worried me was how easily her grandmother looked for that number and how easily I could have gotten away with more information if it was more planned out.

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Postby Dr. Mobius » Wed Feb 27, 2008 1:31 pm

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Postby Jayelle » Wed Feb 27, 2008 4:01 pm

Wil, your entire post is very ironic.
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Postby Wil » Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:59 pm

Oh really? Well if it's ironic in a good way then it was intended.. if not in a good way then it's just my foolishness getting some air. ;)

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Postby neo-dragon » Wed Feb 27, 2008 9:07 pm



Bullying teachers? Spreading rumors? I am scared out of my mind that it will happen to me and thus I follow the CYA policy - cover your ass- since an accusation is usually all it takes to ruin someone's career. If in a room with less than a full class, door stays open. If alone with a member of the opposite sex, they sit by the door and I stay in plain view of the door at all times.
Ah yes, CYA... At my school all of the doors naturally swing shut, so we keep doorstops in every room so that we can avoid being behind closed doors with individual or small groups of students, just like you said. Doesn't matter what the gender of the student is.

I once considered setting up course specific email accounts for students to email me course specific questions that might occur to them at home. After all, e-mailing TAs and professors is pretty common in university. I quickly decided against it because in this day and age communicating with students online in any form or fashion makes CYA needlessly complicated. I have, however, heard of teachers who have students as friends on facebook... That just seems like asking for trouble. Even ignoring the CYA issues it presents, why on Earth would I want my students to see things like the pictures I post on my page, the notes I write, or the comments people post on my wall?

As it is, I don't even tell my students that I have a facebook page, and my privacy settings are such that you have to be in a university network to even find me in a search, and that still won't let you see any more than my profile pic.
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Postby zeroguy » Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:46 am

Zeroguy: actually i think it's the parent's job to control their children's myspace, or whatever they do in their net. Problem is that nowadays parents have simply forfeited their responsibility as parents.
While that may be true, I don't think a lack of policing net usage is necessarily an indicator of that. I mean, come on, how much do you expect the average parent to really understand about the web? (Well, depending on age of the parent; I'm assuming over 40 or 50.) Most probably wouldn't have ever heard of myspace (at least for awhile) if it weren't for all of the privacy/stalker things that make the news.

Not to mention that it's difficult/impossible to track activities if the child isn't cooperative (if the parent makes it clear that they'd be monitoring stuff). But I suppose it's different if they aren't even trying.
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Postby jotabe » Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:30 am

Checking what your kid does online isn't that hard, nor it requires any technical knowledge that exceeds checking what he watches on TV. Simply walking behind him, from time to time and seeing what he is reading/playing/typing/watching is enough. Maybe even checking the taskbar, or the firefox tab titles.
When you are focused on the screen, you tend not to pay too much attention to your surroundings, and you can't really hide what you are doing on time, without giving it away with your nervousness. I mean, parents can smell when you are nervous because you are doing something you oughtn't.

And it isn't even disruptive of the kid's intimacy, unless you do something really stupid as allow them to have a pc/tv/console in their room.
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Postby zeroguy » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:45 am

Checking what your kid does online isn't that hard, nor it requires any technical knowledge that exceeds checking what he watches on TV. Simply walking behind him, from time to time and seeing what he is reading/playing/typing/watching is enough. Maybe even checking the taskbar, or the firefox tab titles.
When you are focused on the screen, you tend not to pay too much attention to your surroundings, and you can't really hide what you are doing on time, without giving it away with your nervousness. I mean, parents can smell when you are nervous because you are doing something you oughtn't.
Wrong. Though I guess it depends on the kid (not everybody is me, I have to keep telling myself).
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Postby wigginboy » Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:20 am

OK, i just checked out the member list. We have about 2400 members and the vast majority of these members haven't ever posted. Most of these members have been here since early 2007 or earlier. if we have a small post count or a lack of people posting it is because people join the site and then never post a single goddamn thing. If everyone who joined the site posted at least once we would have a third as many posts as we do now, not counting the game room. it seems to be only the regulars who post at all? i mean, what is the point in joining a forum that discusses the Ender and Shadow series', plus all things in between, if the vast majority aren't going to post? these cant all be bots.

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Postby Eddie Pinz » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:45 am

wigginboy,

A lot of the users that joined were spam bots.

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Postby Dr. Mobius » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:44 pm

Checking what your kid does online isn't that hard, nor it requires any technical knowledge that exceeds checking what he watches on TV. Simply walking behind him, from time to time and seeing what he is reading/playing/typing/watching is enough. Maybe even checking the taskbar, or the firefox tab titles.
When you are focused on the screen, you tend not to pay too much attention to your surroundings, and you can't really hide what you are doing on time, without giving it away with your nervousness. I mean, parents can smell when you are nervous because you are doing something you oughtn't.
Wrong. Though I guess it depends on the kid (not everybody is me, I have to keep telling myself).
It also depends on the parent. As Alea pointed out way up there, sometimes they're not around or simply don't give a s***.
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