This week on Mom.me, I wrote about the techidemic and what it means for tech-addicted parents (all of us) and our soon to be tech-addicted children and teenagers.
I was recently at one of my mom's plays in San Diego and almost every kid in the audience was texting on their phones. The entire time. Which... I mean, is that even legal? Why aren't the parents saying, "THIS IS NOT OKAY!?" Or are they? Or are THEY also on their phones so they feel like they can't talk?
And maybe that's the problem... how can WE as tech-addicted parents enforce our children's screen time? Can we? Would we rather let our kids lose themselves in their phones so that we don't have to face the fact that we are also lost in ours?
When we were kids, we passed notes in class. We folded them into neat little origami squares and when the teacher wasn't looking, we threw them across the room. Or dropped them on the floor. Or put them in the hoodie of the guy in front of us.
It always felt like a risk... passing notes. We kept our secrets scribbled in those little triangles in rainbow ink. And occasionally we'd include pictures. Drawings. REALLY juicy stuff. And occasionally the note would end up in the wrong hands and DRAMA OMG MEET ME IN THE BATHROOM FIRST THING NEXT PERIOD WE HAVE TO TALK. Friends would lose friends and boys would know who wanted to make out with whom and rumors would spread and we would all write in our (private) diaries about how shitty everything has become.
Kids don't pass notes anymore. (That's what I've been told anyway. I still don't believe it because HOW CAN YOU NOT PASS NOTES? That was where I honed my skills as a writer!) This isn't 1995, which is unfortunate because 1995 was an excellent year and I feel like WE, who had pagers and begged our parents for our own landlines in high school, had it MADE. We were bullied, sure, but it was always in the open. And yes, sometimes a crank call (or is it PRANK call?) was unable to *69'd but we always knew who it was....
And porn to our teenage minds? Was PLAYBOY which we found under our parents' beds and hid behind community pools with our cigarettes...
I was recently asked to do a sponsored campaign with an app that monitors children's devices. (AKA, if your kid sends a text message, YOU, the parent, ALSO get the text message. You also are privy to what happens on your kid's social media platforms, their emails, snapchat(s), etc...) When I asked why the fuck I would spy on my kid, I was told that "it was to protect children from being cyber-bullied" which, okay... but, really? Can someone please explain how spying on our kids protects them from being bullied? I mean, unless a child WANTS to be spied on (which, okay) it sounds a whole lot like helicopter eavesdrop mania to me. And yet, the alternative is equally as maniacal. We buy our kids cell phones and shrug, like, "I guess this is it. Good luck to you on your new tech-addicted journey!"...
You can read the rest of my post, here...
Do you moderate your kids phones/social media channels? Are your kids okay with that? Do you discuss "porn" and "sexting" with your kids? Do you have any advice for us parents who are on the verge of this whole new world of kids-on-smartphones-business? Is there a way for us all to come together and convince our kids that passing notes in class is SO MUCH cooler than sexting?
I look forward to your thoughts, wise friends. (P.S. Mom.me changed their commenting platform and are now utilizing Facebook so you can now comment over there without creating an account! Over and out, you guys. TGIF.)