Raising internet-safe children ( part 1 )


We chose what time we want to wake up in the morning,  we chose if we hit the snooze bar to get a few extra minutes of sleep,  we chose whether we hit the snooze bar three, four, or five times  to get some more sleep.  We chose what shirt to wear. We chose what pants or skirt to match.  In free societies we chose whom we date.  We chose whom we marry.  And we make the choice to have a child.  With social media we chose what we post, we chose what we share, we chose what we comment on  At every moment of every day. I know you have seen this picture, the proud, soon-to-be mom,  holding up her positive pregnancy test or holding up a sign with a date when she and her significant other are expecting ( raising children) .
 And from that moment on, our children in today's society are being socialized online before they actually enter the physical world. So we see the progression of the baby bump photos, the pictures of preparing the nursery for the arrival of the newborn.  Until one day we see the post that we have all been waiting for.  We see a post from the delivery room. Sometimes, we see a cute cuddly baby, and sometimes we see a screaming, straight from the womb, still attached newborn. I've seen it. I know you've seen it. And we are sharing such personal information full name, time of birth, weight, length.
Every first of this child's life in today's society will be documented. Forever, on social media. The first diaper change, the first bottle, the first snuggle with grandma or grandpa, the first hug with the big sister,  who's so proud that she is wearing a shirt that says "big sister."  Every first is documented forever online. And then the first with the young toddler tapping on a device. Swiping their finger on a device. We have gotten to the point where we are sharing party training pictures of our children while the children are holding smartphones and tablets to help them pass the time while they are learning to pee or poop. As the child grows up, we get to see pictures posted by parents,  proud parents of their children on play dates. And the children are each holding their device in their face.  All but ignoring the other children that are near them.  They are in the same room, they are often sitting on the same couch,  but they are not actually interacting ( raising children).
 And then if you go to a restaurant today more often than not you will see a family sitting there. All staring into their favorite device screens. All but ignoring their most precious loved ones an arm's length away. When we hand our young children a smartphone or a tablet to keep them entertained, we are missing something. We are missing something as a society. We are missing the prime opportunity to teach our children cyberethics. We are missing the opportunity to ingrain cyberethics  into their developing minds, the minds of the next generation.  What if we teach children starting at three years old about bullying, about privacy,  about screen time balance, about empathy and other cyberethics topics? It is all too often in the media, that we see, hear or read terrible stories of something that has happened to a child that is related to the technology ( raising children).

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