We are in the midst of a new paradigm with our responsibilities for our children and their welfare. The ability to ‘be online’ brings many benefits for learning – and a different kind of connectedness.
And with these responsibilities comes a need to encourage a balance of exposure and use.
As parents, we are no different from kids in some respects! We too, especially in ‘our’ busy, connected lives will also look towards paths of least resistance. Perhaps this can lead to a sense of relief having a 21st-century ‘soother’ to placate our kids while we relax/work or other?
I agree it feels like it’s another chore having to educate the children to spend appropriate duration and times online, especially when many of us now conduct so much of our lives there! Does this then become hypocrisy?
Not all education is the same.
Studies, ironically, are beginning to recognise the way children learn – and it’s changing. Cognitive approaches to knowledge and the way that information is received are being challenged. On the one hand, we have human educators and wonderful ‘paper’ books, and on the other we can just go ‘Google’ it!
And is that so bad?
I think as new generations evolve, the way they receive and absorb online information will have some determining influence on the way future learning takes place. And this may be awkward while any permanent transition of how we educate younger individuals takes place.
Who are we?
Who we are, or who we think we are, is in part, created by our experiences, our perceptions, and the communicative feedback we receive each time we engage with another. But I believe this ‘validation’ and identification profiling is far less tangible when conversing ‘online’.
We miss the visual and so subtle cues from the body language of the eyes, the mouth and the way we observe a posture, or the arms and hands, etc. when engaging virtually. Little of that available online and because we get something coined ‘dis-inhibition’, children learn to judge and assimilate fewer risks.
But judging less is a good thing, right?
Often, yes! I spend much of my time reminding myself and encouraging clients to judge ourselves and others less, but there is some value in making judgements when we initially meet someone new, and it can keep us safe! How then do our children of the internet make such assessments online, and how does this learning transmit into real life interactions, face-to-face?
Of course it’s not only how long we spend online and how much we engage via the internet; it’s also about what we and our kids are exposed to. Research suggests kids exposure to some violent ‘games’ are not being themselves predisposed to violence!
Adjusting the ‘safe’ content settings on the home access to internet can reduce at least some of the availability to our children for violent and distressing images and messages, pornography, and those who would wish us harm.
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Anglia Counselling and the LeanOnUs have teamed up to produce a number of downloadable, printable and very shareable safety leaflets.
Be ‘Internet Healthy’ complements this article, and for more helpful advice, visit LeanOnUs.