“Just One Click,” Friend, Jul. 2014, 46–47
“What do you want to do today?” Camille asked as she ran inside with her friends Jasmine and Deryn.
“My cousin showed me the funniest video!” Jasmine said. “We should watch it.”
“Awesome!” Camille said as she hurried to tell Mom that her friends were here. I wonder if I should tell Mom we’re on the computer, Camille thought. But she was already on her way back to the family room.
By the time she got back, Jasmine had already logged on to her favorite online video site. Deryn and Camille crowded around the computer, and the girls giggled as they watched a puppy chase after a tennis ball. When the video ended, the screen filled with links for other videos.
“Click that one!” Deryn said, pointing to a music video. “I love that singer!”
As the video played, Camille started to feel uncomfortable. She didn’t feel very good about the words or the dancing. She had liked the dog video, but this wasn’t the kind of thing she wanted to watch.
“Let’s watch another one!” Deryn said, and Jasmine clicked another link.
Camille started to feel sick, but Deryn and Jasmine seemed to really like the videos—they were singing along and dancing—so she didn’t say anything while Jasmine and Deryn watched more and more videos.
When her friends went home, Camille wandered back to where Mom was working at her desk. “How are Jasmine and Deryn?” Mom asked.
“They’re good, but …” Camille paused.
Mom raised her eyebrows. “But what? Is something wrong?”
“We started watching videos online,” Camille said. “And at first they were OK, but then we started watching videos I didn’t feel good about. I just wanted to go play, but Jasmine and Deryn wanted to watch more. I didn’t know what to do.” She slumped down in a chair.
“I’m sorry that happened,” Mom said. “The Internet is good for lots of things, but sometimes just one click can take you somewhere you don’t want to be. We can also waste a lot of time without realizing it. What can we do to fix this for next time?” Mom asked.
Camille thought for a second, then said, “Watching a few videos is fine, but maybe after that I could come up with something else for us to do.”
“Great!” Mom said. “And if a video makes you uncomfortable, it’s important to say something. Never be afraid to stand up for yourself.”
“OK,” Camille said.
“That’s how you can do your part. But I can do my part too. How about we make a new family rule? Whenever your friends want to watch videos online, Dad or I have to log you on to the computer and be in the family room with you. That will help keep you and your friends safe. Can you agree to that?”
Camille nodded. “I think I know what to do next time.”
A few days later, Jasmine and Deryn came over after school again. “Hey, I found more music videos,” Deryn said. “We should watch them!”
Camille took a deep breath. “I don’t really like those videos,” she said. “But we can watch something else instead. I’ll go ask my mom to log us in.”
“I can just find them,” Jasmine said.
“No, Mom needs to,” Camille said, “She wants to make sure we watch good things online. And I do too.” She ran off to find Mom. After they’d watched a few videos, they could make smoothies or paint their nails. This way they could all have fun.