Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday, October 8

Yesterday's crass little photo incident (up close & too personal fecal matter left on a lawn by a dog) posted by an unknown neighbor on our community Facebook Group served as a reminder on why I've held back on the smart phones and social media for my kids over the years. It's so they can ((mature)) first, before my husband and I put them behind the scary driver's wheel of facebook, twitter, texting, etc. 

I've discovered over and over especially working in both elementary and middle schools as an assistant, how important it is for children and teenagers to learn to communicate face-to-face first, and learn to do it pretty well, before they're handed walking social media outlets. 

Let's go back...waaay back.  To when we were kids.  As a middle-schooler, I remember occasionally sitting all afternoon on my parent's bed trying to find the courage to dial a boy's house. Or I tossed and turned half the night in my bed wondering how I would apologize--what words I would say-- at school the next day after a tiff with a friend.  And phone calls past 9 pm?  They rang pretty much for emergencies only. There was such a thing back then as homework which often became hang-out with the family time if I chose to do my homework at the kitchen or dining room table. 

Fast forward to 2014. Nowadays it's becoming more uncommon for kids and teens to filter their thoughts. (Think this in my head, but say this out loud. Write this in a personal journal to myself, send that thought to a friend.) Their conscience doesn't tap them on the shoulder quite as often, sometimes at all. (Psst...! Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it necessary? Is it kind?)  And there becomes, an anything goes, a laissez-faire type of attitude, where they realize only l-a-t-e-r the ramifications of their instantaneous actions. Phones and social media do {{not}} cause problems. But they don't teach real-life solutions either. They just fill the time the kid might've spent learning those things instead.

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