Saturday, September 17, 2011
SOCIAL NETWORKING KIDDIES
Some of your dear friends, even peers with whom you're chatting about LIFE, are probably kids.
Consumer Reports, [June], said 7.5 million Facebook users are younger than 13 -- five million are 10 or younger. (FB says users must be 13 or older, but as you know, a birth year can be fixed.)
Actually, you're already sharing things with people you never met. Still, "likes, bulletins, Tweets, latest news from kids -- doesn't it sort of reduce the feeling that you've communicated, and shared things with friends?
Want to get rules passed and make sure kids will be banished from Facebook? From Twitter? From wherever you're chatting, browsing, exchanging ideas? I'm not sure it can be done.
Kids find ways to do whatever they really want to do. Yes, as a parent, or employer, you can find out where they hang out, who their friends are, do they have "bad" habits -- drugs, booze, smoking? Do they sniff illegal substances, have sexual doings with friends, or themselves? Do they steal, shoplift, borrow money -- are they involved with anything evil? There are many perilous places on the internet that anybody can access -- dangerous, even deadly activities.
Oh yes, you can protect the kids -- with rules, drug tests, advice from sociologists, psychoanalysts, pills for depression, attention deficit disorders and allergies. You can supervise, say stop, mustn't do that, that's wrong, that's bad. You can check, guard, make rules, put up fences, gates, walls.
You can enforce all your no-no-no admonitions.
That's why I'm writing this post.. I think no-no admonitions are producing anger in children, and more rebellion, and deeper, uglier, killer-kill-'em-feelings. inspiring all sorts of creative ways to circumvent what their elders want.
I think -- instead of "no" say YES.
Make "stop" into START,
Turn "don't" into DO.
Starting someone's mind -- not stopping it, thwarting it --but encouraging action is much easier. You can promote recreations, activities, things to do. Including browsing, social networking stuff and other Internet things that interest YOU, while educating yourself on how to educate the kid.
How much time do YOU spend social networking -- messaging, chatting, absorbing weird, amusing, sometimes just plain boring bla bla on the Internet?
Kids are THERE -- they're already opening your mind, probably, even though you don't realize they're kids. Remember, what's old for you and me, is not old for them, and new ideas, new things are cooking and brewing in their lives.
Try a YES. Challenging kids might challenge you. Aren't there new worlds for you to conquer?