She's Spoken

Advice, opinions, and critical thinking all in one place!

Archive for social-networking

Death of Interpersonal Communiction!

It’s 7:52am and I can guarantee you that at least 75% of the school aged kids with cell phones have texted, update their status or played a game on their phone or other mobile device already. The sad reality is that as parents we are buying them these devices that allow them to ignore their educational instruction, preoccupy their time with gossip and nonsense, and that promote the decline of interpersonal communications. Our children are learning that instant is the way to go. These adolescences are bashing each other via text message, or spill intimate and hurtful details about one and other via Facebook and MySpace updates. They are exposing their personal information and depicting inappropriate pictures and information about themselves to people they don’t know.

Even more disturbing is the number of inappropriate and compromising photos of girls, and in some cases young boys that are posted on these social networking platforms. Even sadder than that is the number of you parents who have no clue what your child is really up too. Is there really a need for the cell that you bought them to do anything more than place a call? Is there a reason that the MP3 player’s that you’re buying them have to do anything more than play music? I don’t think so. We are giving our children way too much free reign. We are widening the area of public exposure to predators and lessen out safety nets by giving the access to all this instant content and these social networks. We have rules in my house, we have boundaries and we have family time. When was the last time you had a dinner that was text message free, IPod free? Or even altogether as a family unit? Think about it, I’ll wait….Really people we are helping to incite the decline of the family unit and promoting harmful and distasteful social behaviors? Get to know your children, ask those questions, check text messages, check up on them, use parental controls to limit their internet access, and more importantly spend some time with them. Get them a real hobby, something like sports, music, drama, band, volunteering, or a summer job.

Stop giving them so much alone time, so much cyber-time, and stop promoting physical anti-social behavior. It is our job to protect our children and to teach our children and we can’t possibly be teaching them anything that is valuable or productive when they spend an average of 6-8 hours a day Facebooking, MySpacing and text messaging. Where is there room for anything else?

Advertisements

How large is your child’s Social Networking Footprint?

I have read a few a good stories her lately about cyber-bullying and the devastating effects it seems to have on mostly young girls. In both the cases I read the families are alleging their children’s deaths were caused by other online goers. My question is this, why did these children have so much exposure to the internet? To social networking sites that clearly have age limits that are often broken and side stepped? I am not saying that the families caused these suicides or that he bullies were completely innocent just that all parties need to be held equally responsible. Too many teens have cells phones, iPods, netbooks, and other mobile devices that have web access and this leaves them open for constant exposure to this social networking sites and other mostly inappropriate internet arenas.

Instead of paying attention in class these kids are updating their Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace pages as often as they breathe. Children today have too much free and instant access to way too many social venues and not all the children with access are emotionally, intellectually, or psychologically fit enough to be engaging in activities hosted at these sites. Bullies are nothing new; they are as old as the institution of uniform education. But the avenues change and as parents we need to be more aware. I mean these kids aren’t buying their own cell phones or paying their own internet bills. We as parents have to take more measures to check our children’s social networking footprint. If half of you checked your child’s current Facebook or MySpace status you would be very shocked if not mortified. The lack of communication that exists is astronomical. We have to be more aware and take advantage of parental controls. If you allow usage of social forums monitor pages, have access and check it often. If you see red flags shut it down.

In one case the mother admitted to experiencing some red flags, which should have been enough. She saw some of the cruel messages that were being posted; she should have stopped the access immediately. Nothing positive could come from those messages. Even more so on the flip side parents of bullies you should be more proactive and less reactive in terms of your children too. You know when your child’s mood changes or if their aggression levels change, you hear the comments about peers and you see the little things. STOP ignoring them. You have the ability to stop things like these suicides before they occur. Blaming others does not restore life. Monitoring initiatives should be proactive not vice versa.  Death should not be the cause of responsible parental action or the introduction of civil measures of protections. We have to do all that we can to protect our children, to make sure that they are exposed to the right types of attention and social forums. Use those parental blockers and stop being afraid to ask questions, check social forums, access text messages, and when necessary cut access to these arenas. You are responsible for your children’s safety. In some cases it is us that is enabling these harmful forms of communications and obsessive and constant access by supplying our kids with the latest and what is raved as the greatest Technology. Children DON’T NEED INTERNET ACCESS ON A CELL PHONE! CHILDREN DON’T NEED LAPTOPS IN THEIR BEDROOMS AND WE NEED TO MONITOR MORE!