When my son got his first laptop with the 6th grade laptop program 6 years ago, I was scared to death that he would be stalked by some online pedophile on AIM (AOL Instant Messanger). At that time, AIM was the big thing for tweens. I tried to be proactive by not allowing the laptop behind closed doors, and I actually installed a parental spy program, so I could read all his messages and posts. That didn’t last long. The chatter was so boring and very time consuming.
Enter facebook. When I allowed him to have a facebook account in high school, I insisted that he ‘friend’ me so I could keep tabs on what he was posting. That worked well until kids stopped using facebook. They moved on to Instagram, Twitter and now Vine, Twitter’s new video clip network. See other blog post, Why Are People Leaving Facebook. Most of my Gen X friends don’t know their kids are on Vine (or have heard of it). I’m sure kids are on something else too that I haven’t heard of yet. It’s starting to become impossible to keep up with what our kids are doing on their phones.
Parents are throwing in the towel because they don’t know what else to do. It seems like a “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em attitude” has taken hold. Less than attractive (and that’s being kind) photos of spring break activities posted on facebook by my Gen X peers, is evidence to support that. We all know that kids are way more tech saavy than we are, but they are leading us instead of the other way around. And that’s a problem.
Please feel free to comment or share your experience.