Saturday, October 22, 2011

Thoughts & rules of the Internet

My daughter and I stumbled upon this article which was very interesting, and it really got me thinking. Not that I worry about Sierra (since she's the only one with a Facebook account), but I was disturbed by the comments that were left by the cast who are in the Facebook Me Play. Disturbed because of the things that were said by these young teens. Some teens use the internet to escape, and some use it for good.

I was very adamant in having my oldest get a Facebook page. I trusted her to use it wisely, and on her 15th birthday she got one. It seems that the older she gets, she tends to be on it more. She does have control though, and I'm grateful that she doesn't give me any attitude when I tell her to get her paper done, and quickly check your email, and log off. Being a junior in high school, and being active in many activities, Facebook is an easy way to stay in contact with other students.

I personally never wanted a Facebook, and I didn't even know what a blog was until friends of mine told me about their blogs. I had no desire whatsoever to have both. After having many friends hounding me to get a facebook, and because of our nomadic lifestyle with moving and meeting new friends, I ended up creating one after my son was born in November of 2009. It was exciting at first, and a blessing to have reconnected with friends from high school, and old college buddies, but then it got old to me. Ever since I knew what a blog was I started one back in January, and use the net more to blog, and share it on Facebook. Once in a while I'll post pictures, statuses, or links that I hope is inspiring to others. I notice that my generation (if your born before 1971) are not on it that much. I notice that today's generation(if you're born after 1994) are on Facebook nonstop.

We have a life. My kids have a life. My teenage daughter has a life. We have one computer in our home and that's all we need. Guess who's on it more? Me. Not because I hog it up, but because I blog a lot (plus it's in our bedroom.) I love to blog about my family among other things. Although I keep a handwritten journal, I decided to do a blog so I don't have to scrapbook every single picture. Plus it's easier because all my friends and family members who live far away can keep tabs on us with a click of a button. I also decided to blog so that at the end of the year I will convert the blog into a book for each of my children. I think that's harmless.

I am very pleased at how we have discussed the rules of when we first got our computer, and how it is ours to share. Like I said... we have a life and don't revolve around the internet 24/7. I may post everyday, but believe me when I write this. I prepare my thoughts so quick as to what I want to write and sometimes I'll draft a few ideas, revamp, make revisions, and then publish it. It's so true as to certain kids who are on Facebook are constantly changing their profile pic, and posting unnecessary statuses that seem to be personal and at often times embarrassing. I've learned to never post anything on my wall, or the wall of a friend that deems private. Use the inbox please. Not all of us want to hear everyone else's drama.

There is a lot of good that can be done on the internet without sheltering our kids, but we also need to monitor our children as to how long they are on the computer. It can seriously take up a lot of your time, and before you know it three hours have gone by! I know because I caught myself doing that with Pinterest when it was new to me. Not a good thing! Luckily my girls have control as to how long they are on the computer whether it's Facebook, school related, or my six year old playing games in moderation which is hardly ever!

Fortunately I have a husband who got out of his funk playing video games long before the first Xbox came out. Sure he'll play children's games with Noah on his iPhone, but truthfully that's about it. I don't need little Noah exposed to too much technology at such a young age. Although he already knows how to tap the games app on the iPhone. Uh oh!

Bottom line is...it's called control, and it's up to us as parents in teaching our children when enough is enough. I have complete trust in my kids, but I still would like to know what they are researching, surfing, and posting. I care a lot about my children, and cant help that by being a parent. I think it's important to use the internet in moderation, and I count my blessings that we do have control. I'm grateful to have cyber smart kids who know their way around a computer. I have sure learned a lot from them (and my husband.) I'm also extremely grateful that we have a tech free house when it comes to eating dinner as a family, having company over, and when we are spending quality time with our kids.  It's so important to have that family time without worrying about how many messages, and comments are waiting for us on our blog or Facebook. We spend our family time with each other...not with our iPhones.

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