Social Media and Our Kids
I am a big fan of social media and how it can really make it easy to spread ideas worth spreading. Of course, this is also its biggest danger – bad ideas (that seem appealing) spread even faster.
When I was growing up, Dad bought a pool table for our game room. Why? So Mom and Dad could keep an eye on me, listen in on my conversations, and see who I was hanging out with. We had one phone line, which made it easy for them to “overhear” what I was talking about.
Now parents don’t overhear conversations any more unless they grab the cell phone and look at the text messaging or go online and check out Facebook. Technology is creating a communication gap between parents and their kids, and it is about to get much worse.
The new trend among young people is to completely abandon computers and do everything on the new social media phones. The iPhone and the new Google Motorola Droid, which releases tomorrow through Verizon, are prime examples of this. Now kids can keep their whole life, all of their “friends,” in their pocket. Facebook, Twitter, email, texting, pictures — everything, all in one place.
When I was a kid I remember a public service announcement that would come on the TV. It said “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?” So my question to every parent out there is: “It’s a social media world. Do you know what your child is saying, and what others are saying about your child, in cyberspace?”