I woke up this morning and before I even brushed my teeth I turned on my phone (which is essentially a mini-computer) my sister’s PC and my laptop. I could tick off the five things I had to do on each one before I even left the bedroom I am sleeping in.
I am a pretty social girl, but with kids it seems I don’t have too much time for adult interaction. It is fair to say then that I have become slightly addicted to technology. In fact, when I traveled to Maryland for a visit/vacation I even remarked to my husband that since recently my only social “conversations” have been Twitter and Facebook oriented that I was taking a while to re-acclimate to real life face to face chats. That worries me.
Even more so, I worry for my kids. They are too young to be immersed in social media just yet. But when they do get computer time, they space out in a Zen like trance that I totally understand. They are one with their computer.
It is such then that when I am asked to reflect on my parental fears about Internet security that my brain does not go to adult predators or even really peer bullies (although that is a big concern). Surely there is enough in the news about online predators of all ages, that would make a mother toss any technology that is in the house. Maybe my kids are still too young. Maybe I haven’t been burned enough yet to foster those fears. Right now, in this moment, my main worry about my children and the Internet is what it will do to them I.R.L.-if you will. Will they become to consumed by online chatting that they forget (or worse-never learn) the beauty and skill of face to face conversation? Will all their work relationships exist mostly in email, instant message and text formats? Most worrisome-will they choose Internet interaction over meeting people in the flesh? Heck, I almost did.
It is easy to be who you want to be on the Internet. You can write yourself witty or thoughtful. You can write yourself beautiful or strong or desirable. You can share only what you want to share. The world is yours to create on the Internet. There is no concern over appearance or cleanliness or anything physical at all. This might be great. I mean, my kids could foster a confidence that surely I didn’t have the luxury of in junior high. They could build their confidence on who they are instead of what they look like, because their interactions with others are solely based on their minds. However, how secure will they be going forward if they are only socially confident with a screen in between them and the object of their attention? That is the Internet security I worry about.
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