Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Cyber smart?

How cyber smart are you? Last week i attended a social media session for parents run by Digital Smarts. It was good to learn about what is out there and what as parents we can do to try and protect our kids from the nasty side of it. 

When I was growing the internet was not apart of everyone's daily life(ok i am old), today it pervades all aspects of life. Access via mobile phones and wifi networks really changes the dynamics of how and when we interact. 

Whilst I like to think that i am pretty savvy with technology, I also learnt that there is a lot that I don't know. The technology continues to evolve at a rapid rate, today we can tweet and instant message.

A big portion of what was discussed was more relevant for parents with children in primary school and beyond, talking about the social networks that children are using. There were  points that were relevant for me as a parent of a toddler but also as someone who uses social media.

Key takeaways for me
  • What is said/printed online stays online. 
  • The common courtesies that we expect in face to face real interactions should also exist online.
  • Technology is not bad - it's about how it is used. 
  • We can take action to protect our children, we can control their use of technology and we can educate our children.
Little Man is only 3. And we do use the internet with him on the ipad. He loves watching clips on you tube, usually something transport related. however if he happens to accidentally hit featured or most viewed - I'm shocked to say that even I'd be scared.

I can only imagine what the world will be like when he's in his teens. In the meantime, I'm going to continue to try and be as educated about this cyber age that we live in. I expect it will be even more dynamic than the one that we know today.

For me it was time well spent understanding what I as a parent can do and decide what i should do.

Does your child use the internet or social media? How do you ensure that they are safe? 


  1. It is a scary world - if unsupervised - our boys use the internet and that is ok, as long as we are with them and control the content they are seeing. How that evolves as they grow older is something we really need to think about. I think parents today need to sty up to date with technology, the consequences of not doing so are far too great
    Josefa from #teamIBOT xx

    1. Yes staying educated will be even more important moving forward!

  2. I really wanted to go to that talk Stephanie. Good to hear you found it useful. My kids range in age from 3 to 15, and if I can give any advice - which I'm sure you heard at the talk - is to set up parental controls etc early, and sit with your kids and guide them before they become teenagers and stop listening to you.

  3. Thanks for the tip on getting in controls early - will definitely endeavour to do that!

  4. my kids are between 2 and 10 and they all use the internet in some form of another. I think there's a lot to be said with really working on your relationship with your kids, so that you can guide them in safe uses, but also so that if they accidently click the wrong thing, they can come and talk to you about it too.

  5. This is a great summary, Steph! Thanks for writing it up!
    I'm in the same boat as you. While the twinlets are only 3 I want to be as proactive as I can be as a parent now. I don't think it's ever too early. Glad you had some great takeaways. Thanks again for coming!

  6. Social Media and the Internet and children really scares me and does my head in. It is tough because I am on the net so much and I do believe there are some benefits for kids but getting them to see the dangers is tricky. My eldest is 12 so it is something we deal with constantly

  7. So far mine are too small to really know about this stuff, but it's worth thinking about, thanks for this. Have a great weekend - Emily