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Under 18 and here?

Discussion about administrative actions taken in the chat room.

Moderators: daniel, TiGgEr

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TiGgEr
Posts: 30
Joined: 5 years ago

Under 18 and here?

Post by TiGgEr » 5 years ago

Regarding the recent under 18 visitors...

Ok I know it says in the rules nobody under 18 is allowed, and for obvious reasons, we quite frequently talk and joke about inappropriate subjects, so why have we recently had a couple of visitors who are under 18? Let me explain...

First of all, they have not just been allowed in willy-nilly, agreement have been made that if they are caught handing out any kind of e-mail or social networking, telephone or other kind of contact information, they will be immediately removed.
But what about private conversations they can easily exchange that kind of information in private I hear you ask? No they cannot, once identified private messaging is immediately disabled for their safety and they are limited to solely talking in the main room where everybody can see every exchange!
But they are still under 18 I hear you say, and will very possibly be exposed to inappropriate conversation! Yes, this is true, but I have tried to go to lengths to make sure they are here with parental consent, none of them are under the age of 15 which makes them high school students and probably talk about a lot worse things than most of us cannot imagine, plus they probably have access to MTV and all of their wonderful programming like 16 and pregnant... can we really do much worse than what they already exposed to?
But there are so many appropriate monitored websites for children and teenagers, they should be there, I hear you say! Please find me one! Please? I spent almost an hour today trying to find one, there are very few and the ones I did find are inactive! I have also consulted with those with most experience and they tell me with all of their accumulated years online, none of them have ever known of a safe room for teenagers or children which is very sad! But probably a very good thing!

So why have I been allowing them to come here, sympathy, empathy, and my own memories of being a teenager when I had my accident...
I do not take their presence lightly, it weighs heavily upon me, I check the logs frequently and review their interactions, nobody that I have allowed has been under the age of 15, and we have had some visitors younger than this, I turned them away, any younger than that is just too young, that I just cannot argue! But when they are between 15 and 18, they are judged on an individual basis, after imposing limitations and reviewing their interactions, if I do find that they are too immature or breaking any of the rules they will be removed!

With one of the minors in particular, I have already noticed a decrease in the amount of time spent here, most likely because of the difficulty relating to people so much older, hopefully not because anybody has been unpleasant or unkind, and I expected this to happen, I am quite sure given a little more time the visits will be even more infrequent and shorter in duration, we will see, time reveals all, but in the meantime these have been my decision, again not made lightly!

So that is it really, the reasons why and the measures taken...

As usual, any thoughts or comments are welcome.

daniel
Site Admin
Posts: 55
Joined: 14 years ago
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by daniel » 5 years ago

While I agree that children should be discouraged from entering the room, simply banning them outright and instantly would be counter productive.  For years there have been preventative measures in place for blocking their ability to privately interact with adults.  Also, the uproar over their presence usually far outlasts their actual presence.  Kids don't stick around because there are no kids to stick around for.

Be nice to them because they're looking for the same thing as all of adults, which is some form of connection to someone like them.  Give them some ideas how to meet others and in short time they will be gone doing those exact things.

Daniel

Tawney
Posts: 21
Joined: 5 years ago
Location: Ontario, Canada

Post by Tawney » 5 years ago

I leave the decisions regarding who is and who is not present up to the people that have control of the room.  I trust those that have been doing the job as they have been running the room for us for this long and it is the safest place I have been.  I will continue to leave the details to you and use my time to enjoy my friends and make new ones (age doesn't really matter).  I needed support and I found it here... these younger people need to have their questions about being disabled answered and they need to know life can and does continue.  So many of us feel alone and being young can be scary, they just need a place like the rest of us.  Welcome the youth... They will keep us young.

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