There’s so much that parents, teachers, and psychologists could never know with regards to social media and smart devices – simply because we are not Millennials. We didn’t grow up with digital and social media as a part of our culture. And yet we are tasked, somehow, to lead the way, just as we do in every other area of our children’s lives.
So how does the teacher guide a pupil that knows more than they do? Well, we have the good fortune of life experience and maturity, but we need to understand and speak a new language and combine it with our foresight to gain our kids’ credibility, without being overbearing or embarrassing or appearing clueless. It’s otherwise known as a tightrope walk!
What it will require is a commitment to not only learn the basics but to stay abreast of what’s coming up frequently in our child’s lives, knowing what to look out for – the pitfalls, the dangers, the anxieties – and then having the knowledge and the tools to be the guide.
Digital and social media is not going away. We have two choices, get up to speed and stay there, or allow the internet, strangers or influencers, and social media algorithms, to chip away at the years of hard work you have invested. Sound harsh, or over the top? Perhaps. But it remains a certainty that your child will have a one-to-one relationship with a device that you cannot watch all the time, and through that medium they are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of influences that you cannot control.
According to Business of Apps, these statistics shine a light on the explosion of smart technology:
What is guaranteed is that technology will forge ahead at frightening speed – think AI, AR, VR (if you know what those are) – leaving parents behind, and providing adults with little choice but to get educated, and be even more accountable and responsible (than they already are!).
So, if you feel in some way lost at sea, ask your school to bring us in, and we’ll go beyond the scary stories of what’s happening out there, and equip you with practical tools that will make you feel more aware and more secure as you integrate into, and understand your child’s complicated online world. It will be worth it.
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