Here on Little Butterfly Kiss we’ve posted before about the internet and social media and how, as parents and grandparents, we can help keep our children safe. As I’ve stated before I think it is important to monitor children’s activity as well as make sure they aren’t spending too much time in front of the computer screen. I don’t really see the computer or the internet as a necessity for young children, but I am apparently in the minority. According to a recent article in Time magazine 92% of US children have some type of internet presence by age 2. Yes, you read that right, an online presence by age 2. A small study, cited in the article, reported that approximately 7% of babies have email addresses. I’m perplexed and can’t possibly imagine why babies would need email addresses?
Given the recent surge in cyberbullying incidents and other examples of misinformation and bad judgment occurring on the internet we have to look at all the ramifications of having youth tuned in to the internet. Maybe the moral here is that teaching young children about the internet could be a good thing? If, that means parents will take the responsibility to talk about right and wrong, basic respect, and stress the consequences of entering into the world of the web. It can have positive results and it can have devastating ones.
I long for the good old days, where children played outside and built castles with real blocks and used crayons to draw on pieces of paper. We will lose something if we completely merge with machines and color with Microsoft Paint, read with our Kindle and use email to send thank you notes. Where will the tangible, touch, feel, hold in our hand memories go? Can you capture the first lock of hair with a photo stored on Flickr or feel the child like earnestness of the first picture of mommy scribbled with a mouse?
There has to be a balance of technology and human connection. Sure, we need to acquaint our children with the computer, but it cannot become a substitute for face to face daily interactions. My two year old and 4 year old granddaughters will be talking to their daddy via Skype for the next 6 months while he’s a continent away. That computer will provide a vital link they all need to keep their connection strong and to reassure the girls that daddy has not disappeared. And, this makes the separation much easier than it was in my children’s day…so I am grateful for technology, in moderation.Connect with Little Butterfly Kiss website, blog, Twitter, or Facebook