Parents vs. The Internet

There is a lot of talk among parents about the use of technology and children. Do children spend too much time watching TV? Do they spend too much time on iPads? Is it beneficial? Should we use their names on our blogs or pseudonyms? Should we show their faces? Are we respecting their privacy enough?

I don’t have the answers or a solid opinion on the matter. I like Pinky and Perky using the iPad, we have some very education apps they can play on and I know it helps them. I don’t mind them watching the TV. I am strict with what they can watch (Peppa Pig is banned in our house) and mostly they learn things from what they watch. The other day even I learnt something about planets from the cartoon ‘Myles from Tomorrow’ on Disney Junior! Of course getting out in the fresh air is important. There is so much to learn in the big wide world. This week I have been teaching Pinky about evergreen trees and she has embraced what I have told her. This would not have stuck if I tried to teach her inside the house or on an iPad.

Yes, I use pseudonyms on the blog. It was something Hubby and I agreed I would do. I also contemplated only taking pictures of the girls that didn’t show their faces for Instagram but that became very difficult and would have meant I would have had to start over.   Initially I thought this mattered. I can understand why people want to protect their child’s privacy, they are as entitled as the next person. But I have a different question to put out there… Are we looking at it from the wrong perspective?

Our children, like it or not, have been born into the golden age of technology. Social media and its influence is HUGE. It is very difficult to avoid it these days and no matter how private you keep your profiles if you use ‘cloud’ storage your photos are obtainable by others with knowledge. Remember Pippa Middleton? If you put them online at all they can be found. Does it matter? Only if you are as interesting to the nation as the Royals and Middleton’s I suspect.

So what about as the kids grow up and go to school? Personally I think it would be naïve to think they won’t want to post stuff about themselves on social media. Perhaps start vlogging. Wasn’t Justin Bieber discovered via YouTube? This is a generation where all of their friends will grow up with their baby pictures easily found online. I think it will be abnormal to not have them on the World Wide Web somewhere. I’m not saying this is right, but I think this is what we are facing as parents. Things are not the same as when we were children.

Coding is now part of the curriculum and that is amazing. It should have been included when I was at school. Technology is progressing faster than we understand and that is the real problem we face as parents. Our children are going to be able to do things with computers we just don’t understand because we have spent too long saying ‘Oh I just don’t understand technology.’ ‘What is the point of that?’ ‘I don’t know how that works.’

I have had various jobs over the years in both hospitality and the medical industry. Both areas have used computers daily. In restaurants, as a manager, I had to use various computer programs to cash up at the end of a night. I would need to program the tills daily in one job according to the menu changes. This was made much easier with basic computing skills. In the medical industry many hospitals have gone paperless or are making moves to that status. To be paperless you need computers. I used an iPad daily, what people didn’t understand was although the software or app was something they had never used before it was still an iPad. It was not as scary or difficult to use as some staff thought, they simply weren’t actually looking at what they were doing. They were too ready to give up because they were uncomfortable with the change from paper notes.

We need to learn how it works! If we really want to protect our children forget about their privacy, learn how to use a computer properly. Learn how to see what someone has looked at online. Learn how to protect your Wi-Fi networks. Learn how to block unwanted downloads. Learn all of these well enough so a teenager can’t hack past it, because believe me they will be able to and you won’t know they have done it. Google and Yahoo are great sources of information to find people or companies that can help teach you or help you find the tools you need. If all else fails and if you really can’t get your head around technology then learn the warning signs of online bullying. Seek help if you need it but don’t simply worry about it. Do something about it.

As parents we need to embrace this change in the world because to our children this isn’t a change but it is a normal aspect of life. They will never remember a time without smart phones, without high speed Internet; they may not even remember a time when it wasn’t fibre optic. The social media platforms may evolve and change but they will exist. We need to be ahead of the game because our children need us to be, the deserve us to be.

Cuddle Fairy
Mummuddlingthrough
Admissions Of A Working Mother
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17 Comments

  1. November 30, 2016 / 11:56 am

    I find this a really interesting one. In terms of my blog, I’m pretty open – I don’t use a pseudonym for my son, and I show him fully in photos all the time. In all honesty, I find it more difficult to relate to parent bloggers who don’t use pictures of their children – silly as that might be! And I’ve always felt similarly to your thoughts here – that having photos online will just be part of life for this generation. In terms of keeping up with technology, luckily my husband is far more techie-minded than I am, so he keeps on top of technology and drags me along with it. I’m sure my son has inherited that coder-mindset too! #BloggerClubUK

    • November 30, 2016 / 2:14 pm

      I have a very technically savvy husband too and I know the girls online security will be taken care of so I am not worried but I do think it is more important than worrying about showing their faces. I still contemplate using their real names but the pseudonyms we use are often used as their nicknames at home anyway so it isn’t too much of a stretch really.

  2. December 1, 2016 / 11:50 am

    Nice to see this topic from a different perspective. You make a good point about technology. I’m not the world’s most tech savvy person, so I’m sure I will have some catching up to do when my daughter is older. I also agree that our kids will most likely want to post their photos online when they’re older. I’m not posting photos of my daughter for now. This is partly for privacy but also partly because I just don’t want to share photos of our lives with the world. #StayClassyMama

    • December 1, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      It is absolutely your own choice and you have to do what is right for your family. I think I just feel a little worried that people are missing a bigger picture with it all. I am very lucky to have a tech savvy Hubby, I would be completely lost with it all.

      • December 1, 2016 / 2:13 pm

        It’s a really good point. I hadn’t thought of it, although my daughter is too young for computers etc, so it’s not in my radar yet.

  3. December 1, 2016 / 12:26 pm

    I agree that we have to keep with the times. If we stop our children using technology they may be behind in school for a while, it’s the way the world is heading!

    #stayclassymama

    • December 1, 2016 / 2:12 pm

      It is the future, I think we may have shied away from it for too long, or I have at least.

  4. Lucy At Home
    December 1, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    I use pseudonyms on my blog, I don’t add photos with their faces (on my blog accounts or my personal ones), I don’t even reference place names that often. I know the chances are nobody could give a monkeys about them (we’re not royalty, as you say), but I hate the thought of their photos getting into the wrong hands or being used without my permission. There are some real freaks in this world.

    I run a tots group and I’ve had to block a number of people from the facebook group (foreign men who are completely unconnected with the group who follow hundreds of tots groups) – that’s made me worry about it more than ever.

    I think you make a really good point about keeping on top of technological developments, though. My hubby is a web developer so that is his domain (thankfully!) #CoolMumClub

  5. December 1, 2016 / 8:21 pm

    I am really not a fan of kids on the internet. Interestingly, more often than not it is the parents that put them there. I tweet after I’ve left the event (unless it’s a blogging event and 20 million bloggers are there) and only use the back of my kids. I rarely put myself on the net too. The bigger concern for safety for kids is their selfesteem and their need for likes and the constant judging. I think that is a bigger risk, shown in the higher rates of depression and suicide for young people. There’s a lot of good, but a lot of bad. Managing the dependence on it is a large part of the problem #Stayclassymama

  6. December 1, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    As a blogger who hasn’t shared my own name, photo or pictures of my kids faces this was an interesting read. I’m with you and am all for keeping up with technology to remain in the game when it comes to the kids – that said I hate facebook because it just feels too much like living a life online – ha ha, what a hypocritical blogger I am! At the end of the day, it’s all personal choice right? Some of my favourite blogs have no names or photos, I feel it reflects the strength in their writing. Each to their own – the internet is big enough for all of us 🙂
    Thanks so much for sharing with #coolmumclub

    • December 2, 2016 / 3:48 pm

      It is all about personal choice, as a blogger there is a lot to be said about the strength in writing. I am with you on Facebook, it is my least favourite platform and as of yet haven’t used it for the blog. I think as long as parents know enough to be able to keep their children safe online that is the most important thing for the future. X

  7. December 1, 2016 / 11:35 pm

    Really interesting post. I don’t feel like I can have opinion yet as my son is too young to use the internet, but I am more pro digital probably because I work in digital marketing and I am a blogger and I use almost all social media channels. Our kids, like it or not, will be massively living most of their lives online (through work and social media and whatever the next invention is, virtual reality….I had a meeting with Microsoft the other day who spoke about “mixed reality” and I was able to use their Hilo lens glasses and honestly it was amazing there are SO many beneficial reasons to use them, it’s not all bad). I think our kids are going to live in a world that is mixed reality, almost as we are now but more emphasized. So I definitely would like my son to know how to code from a young age and be totally adapt with technology so he can be successful in whatever he decides to do, if he wants to be a hippy and live in the trees I would be happy with that too! I don’t think we should limit their experiences. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  8. December 1, 2016 / 11:37 pm

    **adept
    **hololens (look it up its amazing) : )
    I obviously need more typing skills lol

  9. randommusings29
    December 3, 2016 / 6:23 pm

    I totally agree that learning how a computer works will be much more productive for protecting children online than worrying over whether or not to put a pic on Instagram.
    I think it’s unlikely your teen won’t be able to go around the measures you put in place though – kids can do this practically before they can write their own names haha 🙂
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK
    Debbie

    • December 4, 2016 / 12:59 pm

      It’s so true, mine are brilliant on the iPads, and one of them can barely talk yet! X

  10. December 7, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    You’ve really got me thinking about this. I’m a dinosaur fighting the invasion of iPads and phones and social media into my kids’ lives. Not one of them owns and iPad and my eldest finally got a phone at the age of 11. It seems ridiculous to me saying ‘finally’ because I think it’s far too young but she was one of the last! I hate how my kids work is so computer-based from the age of 11 at school but I guess I’m the only one with a problem! I do like your advice on getting wise actually re hacking, passwords etc. And the kids on Instagram thing etc…I’ve been rethinking just this week my stance on not showing my kids’ faces on my blog and social media. I know that whenever I show pics of them on my personal wall, people go nuts as they’re cute if I say so myself ha ha. So I know pics of my kids (whom I do show from the side/back etc already) would do very well for my following but just can’t bring myself to go that step further. Anyway sorry for the essay! Thought-provoking post. #stayclassymama

    • December 7, 2016 / 9:17 pm

      I’m glad it got you thinking, that was the point really. I think it is all personal choice how you share photos of your children and I fully understand why people hide their idenity, even if you are depriving us of their cute faces 😉 I also think 11 is too young to have a phone but I am judging that on my generations upbringing. I don’t think phones were very affordable until I hit my teens and even then it was a privilege to have that I saved up for myself. This is pretty much Hubby’s speciality so it is a big subject in our house anyway. I just wanted to present the possibility that we may be focusing on the wrong aspect of it all. Thank you for reading and I loved the essay response X

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