Recently I was asked "What kind of impact has the introductory of technology had on the bringing up of your kids?" and it got me thinking, perhaps we should start moving with the times. After all with our all singing and dancing package on Virgin broadband we have interactive technology on tap, but yet we don't really use it to it's full potential. I foresee in the coming months this will change!
These day's kids have iPhone's and are downloading all kinds of apps and communicating over ways that makes using a BT phone booth (remember them?) to page someone look positively ancient, in hindsight why you didn't just call the person you were paging I don't know. The difference is amazing.
Part of our reluctance to have more technology in the house is the cost (not the internet package, the actual consoles), the other part is it quite frankly it scares the hell out of us. We don't want our babies growing up too fast and wanting too much to soon, we do however realise that at some point this has to change. The computer and the Internet is normal for my girls, whether that be fighting over who's turn it is to play on Moshi Monsters to searching Vincent Van Gogh and early settlements on Google. Researching for my homework in the 90's meant loading up the Encarta disk and hoping that what you produced wasn't too like for like.
With my daughters 8th birthday fast approaching (and her attitude fast increasing) she asked for an iPhone! When I challenged her on it mentioning she'll have no one to call she quickly fired back she could speak with her best friend over Facetime. Que one shocked Mummy (yes my daughter who still calls me Mummy is discussing Social Media).
Recently whilst visiting a good friend of mine (her children mostly teens) the Wifi went down and it was amazing how quickly how the boys appeared from their rooms to find out what happened and we joked how turning off a modem was the modern way of calling a family meeting. Is this really what I want? Not particularly but come teen stage it no doubt will be the case. It's bad enough that the husband and I are constantly on our phones throughout the evening, liking one another's Instagram posts and I have been known to message him from upstairs via Facebook for a cuppa!
So in answer to the above question, whilst I am fairly anti-technology I realise that we will have to start moving with the times very soon. The older they get the harder it's going to be and after all I want them to be classed as 'normal'. The media doesn't help with my worries, which I realise is a slightly contradicting statement from a social media blogger but we do understand that we can't hide or shield our children from everything although McAfee will help!
So this is why we have agreed to start at an iPod touch. It's no tablet I know but it's a BIG leap for us as parents, she'll be able to browse over WiFi, download her games and Facetime her BFF. I just hope that she will still look at me to communicate whilst downloading the top 10 and not email me asking what's for dinner. We will just cross our fingers and hope that we deal with any issues that the internet brings to tweens and teens in the best way we can.