Thursday, February 20, 2014

Smart Digital Footprint

As a parent struggling to find balance between a child's right to freedom and privacy and their need to focus amid digital distraction, I agree that schools have a role to play in teaching effective use of the internet. The noise of social media is here to stay and our kids must be productive while drowning in it. From my experience and that of other parents I know, efforts we make at home are often viewed as stifling. We don't get the social ecosystem in which our kids live or the demands it makes on them. We preach to them an ideal and therefore unattainable state. Our credibility in minimal because we are not a product of this system - we came into it much later in life. Needless to say, our level of engagement with it is nothing like that of our kids.

I particularly like the idea that creating a smart digital footprint should be one of the goals of social media engagement for students. Instead of filtering their access to distracting and harmful content, the focus can and should be changed to how can you make the system work to your advantage. Instead of curating a series of perfect moments to tell an alternate history of your life on Instagram maybe there is a way to own the narrative in a constructive yet truthful way. I am trying to teach J to be social media savvy without being slave to its demands and can definitely use a lot of help.

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