Friday, March 12, 2010

Computer literate mom

My kids’ school has organized a class educating mothers on internet which I applaud.  I think it is extremely useful for mothers to keep up with internet and the various social networking sites; Facebook, Twitter, My Space etc. 

The main reason we need to be adequately computer literate is to keep up with our children’s activities and social circle.  Without understanding how the internet works, we cannot identify the risks and explain them to our kids.  We cannot protect our kids from any potential danger that lurks in cyber space.   We’ve heard recent stories of teenagers being abducted by strangers they meet through Facebook.  Does it mean we stop our kids from accessing Facebook? 

I don’t see how we can stop our kids from accessing the internet given how much it has infiltrated into our society and affect how we behave.  When I ask my kids where they learn about the latest news, response is “the internet”.  When they have homework they don’t have answers ranging from doing a research on Russia to explaining what is a typhoon, they log on the internet. 

What we can do as mother is to explain to our kids the risks and lay certain ground rules while ensuring we have the proper parent control tools in place.  It helps to reiterate the ground rules which should include not chatting to strangers on the cyber world, to keep their social networking profile “private” and not revealing private information to strangers.  It is most important to have the computer in an open area such as the living room. 

Despite the risks that the internet may pose, it is a great communication tool and help us better understand our kids.  Want to know how your kids’ day is, check their Facebook status and Twitter.  Likewise if you want to know what is the common topic among your kids and their friends, Facebook and Twitter offer great insights. 

Let’s all get connected.  Gotta go check my Twitter now…

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