Growing up today is very different to how it was when we were young. The world is a completely different place. My year at school were the first one’s to use computers in class, the first year to be given an email address, and people were only just starting to get mobile phones. I remember saying to my friend how stupid it was that people were getting mobile phones at our age at about thirteen. We eventually both got one of course, but it wasn’t in any way something everyone had, and there certainly wasn’t the internet on them (god I sound so middle aged).
Nowadays, children obviously have access to all kinds of technology from an early age and most older (but not that old) children have a mobile phone, with access to the internet and social media. I see younger and younger children joining Facebook as the years go by, and I find it very scary.
The thought of my daughter and my future children having access to social media and all that entails from a reasonably young age terrifies me. But it’s not as easy as just stopping them from having access to it all is it? Not when all their friends are on there and your child feels like they are missing out. And when I think about the future, I will want my daughter to have a mobile phone when she is old enough to go out with friends. That’s a positive of it I think; that she *should* be contactable at all times when she is out with her friends, and can contact me if she needs me.
But my goodness, all of the other stuff scares me a lot. Social media can be a scary place and I hate the thought of my daughter being on there from a youngish age.
The other thing about technology that I find hard with my daughter is with iPads or tablets. Yes, she has access to an iPad and a tablet sometimes to watch something on Netflix or YouTube – and I am fine with that. She has been able to use an iPad for a long time now. But the fact that she can skip adverts, skip forward, or put something else on if she even gets slightly bored, means that she can be very impatient. She expects things instantaneously, because she hasn’t grown up in an age where you have to sit through adverts on TV in order to watch the rest of the programme. Being able to fast-forward anything we have recorded on tv has also added to that. And so I’ve been trying to only let her watch things live and actually sit through the adverts to see what’s on next. Patience, child.
My daughter is growing up fast and so it’s something that comes into my head more and more. We are obviously a bit away from having to worry about her being on social media and having a phone, but knowing that they will most certainly be a part of her life in the future is so scary to me. I guess we just have to do what we can, in terms of limiting things as long as possible (!), and being aware and involved in her life online whilst she is younger, as well as teaching her about the dangers online. I suppose the most important thing is for her to be aware that there are very evil people out there, and hope that we have brought her up to do the right thing and make the right decisions for herself.
What do you think? Does the thought of your children being on social media scare you, or are you ok with it? Do you have older children who are already on social media? If so do you take any particular measures to protect them? I’d love to know what you think…