Social Mediation

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I often find myself wondering how to find a balance between

the pressures of technology and ensuring my kids are staying

‘relevant’ in today’s world. I do not want my children to have

the latest videogame or phone or even be involved in social

media just because their friends have it. I want my kids to

ride their bikes, play with friends and talk to me (no, not via

text message from the next room). I also do not want to be

‘that mom’. We all know who she is. The one who is strict and

thinks that if her kid stays out 5 minutes past curfew that her

child will turn into a pumpkin, or worse! A mom that may not

appear to have faith in the judgments and common sense

that she instills in her children. Yes, that mom. Oddly enough,

I think I am that mom. Reflecting back to when I was 13 years

old, I spoke to my friends at school or on the phone. Heck,

if I had pictures to share, I would bring my photo album

along with me. Yes it is true technology has grown on me. I

must admit I use social media to share photos, reach out to

friends, make new ones etc., guilty as charged. This however,

is not about me. This is about my teenage daughter. A girl

vulnerable to the, how shall I say, INTERNET. A mere child

to me (superwoman to her) who I want to keep safe from

such things as cyber bullying, predators and other horrific

online monsters. Let’s be real, a teen? Why does a teen need

social media? Why can’t she call her friends on the phone

as I did? Speak to them at school? My daughter, in her

last year of middle school, may be the only kid in her class

that is not involved in social media. Is that so wrong? After

careful consideration, I think it is. The Internet has become

the online photo album and telephone. Really, who opens

their wallet to show off their children these days? We all

flash our phones and scroll through the photos. That online

bully is the same bully she would otherwise face at school.

That online predator could just as easily be lurking around

the bend. I cannot protect my daughter from the outside

or the online worlds. I can only teach her to be properly armed.

I can teach her to find that balance when using technology

and staying ‘relevant’. I can teach her what to look out for,

what to report and how to be safe. No different than how to

cross a street, use a knife, or even cook. What do change

and grow are technology and its demands, personal or

otherwise, to be relevant. What does not change, is me trying

to be the best parent and protect my children from anything

that can cause them hurt or harm. If that makes me ‘that

mom,’ then I gracefully accept.

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