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11.29.2011

If I open Pandora's box, can I snap it shut again if things don't work out?

I'm replacing my laptop computer so I can give the boys my old one to use for school, facebook, music and other sundry applications. We've tried this before without much luck. Not so much because they abused the privilege, more because they destroyed every computer we put in their path. One got a viral disease and checked out. A second was so old and slow that we could almost smell the smoke coming off the hard drive when we tried to run games. The third went blank - literally. The screen stopped showing anything at all. And a fourth just died of old age, not their fault but still....

I've been letting them have some evening time on my computer with my fingers crossed, garlic around my neck, a rabbit's foot app running in the background and a healthy prayer accompanied by the proverbial lick. So far, so good. But luck has a habit of turning on a dime when if feels it is taken for granted. My computer is disease free, has a good stock of gigawhatiz and all the programming a boy could dream of. Which amounts to "can I go on facebook?" and not much else.

Rather than just logging them into facebook and shutting the lid when the time runs out, in anticipation of the arrival of my new machine, I set them each up with a user profile today, a password, and a certain amount of trust that they don't abuse the internet by gaming, watching inappropriate YouTube vids, looking up 'disgusting things to do to your siblings' and downloading enough Lady Gaga pictures to overload the memory and install a virus. I want the stupid thing to be useful for school, learning computing, email and FB, and a certain amount of fun.

If it isn't I hope I can close the lid without too much backlash.