Painful lessons to be learned

Date: Monday 20th March 2017

IT has emerged this week that 80 per cent. of homes and businesses in Eden now have access to broadband, with more set to come on stream in future.

The news has been hailed as a success story and ready access to world wide web across rural areas such as Eden is undoubtedly to be welcomed.

Internet connectivity can bring a global market to the doors of Eden businesses and allow people living in even the remotest of areas almost instant access to an almost infinite pool of knowledge and culture.

But there is a well-documented darker side to this unregulated flow of information.

Primary pupils in Eden and their parents, along with their peers across the UK, are taking part at school in Internet safety training, aimed at helping them navigate the vast world of the web, and avoid its many pitfalls and dangers.

Even with loving and well-informed parents and educators at hand, things can sometimes go wrong. As a story on the front page of this week’s Herald testifies, the Internet is a powerful tool, which in the wrong hands can cause untold damage and misery.

There are no simple answers. Technology is changing the norms of communication so fast that all of us are learning together — sometimes through painful experience — how to deal with it.

There is a price to be paid for having the world at our fingertips.