Perhaps before asking the question "What types of technology are our children ready for?", we should ask ourselves "Are they ready for technology and social media at all?" With all the pressures that parents feel concerning social media and technology, sometimes they don't stop to consider that maybe technology is not a good idea at all at this time. With big business fueling advertising of the latest, greatest advances, we're being led to believe that life cannot continue normally without it. But the truth is, the human race has survived a very long time without tweets, statuses and apps.
Parents are experiencing pressure from all sides to jump into technology with both feet and to allow their children to do the same. Common sense tells us that it is a great advantage for our child to have a cell phone in case of emergencies or wrecked plans. The school system tells us that they must have a computer with access to the internet to complete assignments for school and in many districts, is more than ready to provide one. Our culture constantly tries to bully us into thinking that without all the current technology we will no longer be able to function in society. And our kids...oh our kids...are begging, pleading, justifying, and using every tool available to them to coerce us into giving into the pressure and allowing them to have laptops, iphones, ipods, ipads, Twitter and Facebook almost as soon as they can talk.
Amidst all these pressures, parents must sit down and weigh the disadvantages and dangers against the advantages and fun of social networking and technology for each of their childen because after all, we are still the best authority when it comes to our kids. We must decide when, what kinds and how much technology our children are ready for. Reality tells us that we must embrace, in some way, digital parenting whether we want to or not. That doesn't mean, however, that we must jump into the fast moving mainstream that could be, in the case of some children, heading for a dangerous fall.
The educational advantages of the internet are certainly obvious but does it outweigh the risks of the increased instant gratification or the narcissism that social media promotes? Is the additional peer input going to damage our relationships with our children and decrease the amount of our influence in their lives? Is the exposure to all that's available to kids in our culture something they can process and properly discern because let's face it, unless we spend as much time learning and using technology as our kids do, they will be light years ahead of us and using them for things we don't even know are possible.
Whether we honestly think that our children are ready for at least some kinds of technology or we just give into the pressure, it is inevitable that technology, with all of it's wonderful opportunities and horrifying dangers will be part of our lives and when it is, there are wonderful tools for parents to use to train, monitor and control it. Then it can be a positive tool in the hands of parents and children. With all the wonderful developments technology has introduced into society, it is nice that there are some things that make its usage a little more easy to manage.
Looking for a way to keep your family safe and responsible at home? Read our eBook for rules and tips: “15 Digital Safety Rules Every Household Should Follow.”