Do you remember a time when technology wasn’t part of your every day life? I often think of the first time I ever used email. I was a freshman in college and they said we would all get this email address and could write to whomever we wanted to as long as they had email. It was so hard for me to comprehend how this note that I typed on a computer would make it to my friends’ computers back home. And to think that now I can’t go more than 3 hours without checking my emails. Not to mention that my kids will never know a time without internet or even cell phones. Technology is truly amazing!
Then there’s the whole flip side to our personal safety on this vast world of the internet. Keeping your family safe online is extremely important!
My kids are only in 4th and 3rd grades. They have iPods and iPads, but do not have access to social media of any kind. I even watch as they search on Google when doing their homework. Unfortunately, sometimes things creep through when they are connected to the internet. They play games and will click on pop ups. My role as their mother is to protect them from the situations that are not meant for their young eyes or emotions.
It’s so hard to be there to monitor everything, especially when all of the kids we know also have a device that can access the internet. Who knows what they are looking at when they aren’t with me?! The best I can do is openly talk with my boys about the importance of making safe choices. They know not to answer the door when the doorbell rings, they know to look both ways before crossing the street, they know not to talk with strangers online. Although we did not have the internet when I was growing up, the safety lessons are the same.
Today’s families use digital technology in every aspect of life – from learning and socializing, to gaming and shopping! Broad access and use of technology is awesome – and opens so many new opportunities for so many students. But like any aspect of life, there are things you need to know to make positive, safe decisions.
How to start the conversation:
National PTA has partnered with LifeLock to share awesome ways families can create an open, evolving conversation about positive, safe decisions when using digital tools. It’s all part of having a happy, healthy lifestyle. For you, your family, your friends, and the whole world – everyone benefits when you #ShareAwesome! The #ShareAwesome campaign seeks to build an understanding among parents and students that no matter the device, the app or the networking site – the skills we need to be safe and positive online are similar to what you need offline.
The #ShareAwesome contest invites social media users to share a smart and safe decision, uplifting accomplishment, or positive action for the good of others using hashtag #ShareAwesome on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Students who enter a photo by November 30, 2014 will be eligible to win fantastic prizes, including tablets and a $2,500 scholarship! Visit ShareAwesomeNow.org to learn more.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.