I would love to see my children take an interest in computers and software.
Probably true for most of us but there is a difference between an interest in something cool and a growing human being spending 16 hours a day in a chair during the time when the bodies that we'll have to live in and deal with for 70+ years are being finished up by our genes/activity/diet. Best to let the parent decide what's right in what case. Plus IMs aren't all one-liners and work chat; plenty of (expletive deleted) from anonymous strangers who can hurt a kid more in a couple weeks than any "friend" a parent is aware of could manage in a year.
On another related/unrelated note: I spent my first or second paycheck to buy a 5200 and my mom did play Joust a fair bit. :)