When the telegraph was first invented, it was so strange and new, people worried it would disrupt the world’s weather patterns. And as I learned at a dinner last night with (name drop!) Nadine Strossen, former head of the ACLU, when the internet was in its infancy, the government demanded grand censorship powers, to protect the potential porn hub (as it were) from corrupting children. But The Supreme Court ruled in favor of free speech, thus allowing the web to flourish.
All of which is to say, fearing that new technology is going to unleash hell on earth and corrupt our kids is nothing new. Recall that even the newfangled game of pool that starts with P, that rhymes with T, that stands for Trouble was going to do the same thing in the Music Man. With that perspective, I read this story from 6ABC with some skepticism:
School officials in Ohio are on alert following reports of a drone being used to try and lure children off school grounds.
Children and adults reported seeing the drone at Windemere Community Learning Center in Akron over the weekend.
The principal said several witnesses even heard a voice coming from the drone, attempting to coax the children off the playground.
The district sent a letter warning parents to have an adult accompany children to the playground.
If a drone is trying to lure kids to some undisclosed location, isn’t that kind of easy for law enforcement to trace? And, on the flip side, isn’t it kind of hard to target just the kids you want, if literally anyone on the ground can hear your message? Isn’t it kind of inefficient, having to steer the drone AND make sure it’s easy enough for kids to follow, AND land it some place secluded enough for a crime, but open enough to ensure a safe landing?
This bizarre story is not questioned by the media, because whether or not the threat is real, doesn’t matter. All that matters is that it allows TV to give us yet another “kids in danger” story. And of course, the advice given to parents is always the same — just as it has been in all the reports of “near” abductions by sex traffickers at the local store (that never actually occurred): PARENTS, NEVER LET YOUR KIDS OUT OF YOUR SIGHT!
Never give them any free, unsupervised time. They are beset by strangers who want to snatch them, from land and sea and sky. Well, maybe not the sea. (That’s next week.) – L.