Staying safe and balanced in a Digital iWorld
We live a world where everything is digital. We have computer tablets, gaming systems, phones, music players, and more. Just like the internet these things can be used for good or bad.
We can communicate with loved ones or ignore our other family members.
We can use it to bring ourselves closer to each other or we can idle away our time looking at nothing in particular.
We can use it to save time or we can waste away time by posting our status update.
We can use it to increase our knowledge, education, enlighten us or use it to denigrate, enslave, and addict us.
Yes there is much thanksgiving for our digital times. We have so many resources at our fingertips to uplift our children, members of our community via social networks and text messaging.
How do we harness this wonderful technology to do good while not becoming entrapped in its ill effects?
Just as you would not allow someone to drive a car until they were properly trained, so it is with the internet. Children should be monitored by parents. Parents should show kids what sites are appropriate. As they get older the parent will be able to see what their children are watching. By setting guidelines early, they will know what is expected of them.
- Keep the computer in view of the parent. We keep the computer in the kitchen. It is easier for us to monitor what is being watched. Parents will need to learn how to use the devices the kids are using and how to make sure improper content is not being downloaded. You may have to delete certain application and put in a password so kids can’t download unwanted programs.
- Show kids how to use the device properly. Tell them what a proper post should and should not be, and how to handle improper texting and cyberbullying.
- All devices are to remain unlocked (or parents are to have the code). They can be checked at any time the parent feels like it. Parents should insist on being ‘friends’ with their children. I know this is easy to circumnavigate, but you want the child to know you love them and care about their well being.
- Set time limits. When they can be turned on in the morning and when they must be turned off at night.
- Have days when there are no digital devices to be turned on. This of course will apply to parents also. This will encourage them to engage their mind in something constructive.
What are some of the warning signs of digital abuse?
- Not engaging in activities in order to check email or social networking sites
- Constantly looking at device for updates
- Not being physically active.
- Unable to focus. Using the internet as downtime
- ‘In the bedroom alone’ frequently
- Using the internet as an excuse to not do something.
- Family members spend little time together. Each is in their own room in front of a screen.
- Using the device to entertain a child, rather than engaging him/her.
- Spending long stretches of time on the internet viewing questionable material.
- Checking the device multiple times within a conversation.
How are you keeping safe in the digital iWorld?
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother