My dad has always played behind-the-scenes when it came to technology. He understood that I knew what I was doing, for the most part, and his limitations with computers and gadgets.
That doesn’t mean he didn’t miss out on opportunities to chime in with his recommendations and expertise.
As a mid-twenty something I know what I’m doing, these days, and can only imagine what dads nowadays have to face with their children connecting to the web.
Interestingly enough – it all still applies.
The questions and actions kids have these days are the same as when I was first going online in the 90’s. The look and options may be slightly different, but it’s all still about accessing data.
I’m not a father but I believe I can speak for one. These are some of things I’d keep in mind if my child was accessing the Internet or going mobile …
There’s a lot of bad stuff out there
The web is fraught with links pointing to bad stuff, corrupted downloads, and sites that are just phishing for your information.
In the past, it was fairly easy to spot because those items never really had that “professional” look.
Nowadays it’s easy to get tricked by people – especially when it comes to in app purchases or accidentally downloading something to your phone, computer, or gadget that isn’t too legit.
I learned my lesson when it comes to phones (which are better for teens than computers). I realize now that it’s worthwhile to have internet security for mobile devices as well because it’s such a widely adopted platform. A few bucks to prevent the loss of your private info? Well worth it.
Patience really is a virtue
I look around at my friends and try to figure out how they can constantly upgrade their phones and other gadgets year after year without batting an eye.
It’s kind of silly because there isn’t always a big upgrade over the last year model if you look into the specifications. I’m using a slider phone, which gets the job done versus my friends buying the newest iPhone or Android phone as they are released.
The best bit of advice I heard from my dad is to just be patient with technology. The pricing for tech items significantly decrease in value after a few short months. If you can distill this patience onto your children you’ll not only save a good bit of money but you’ll also encourage your children to get the most of what they own (the “hacker mentality” – in a good way) versus only relying on what’s being hyped by the market.
It’s good to just step away
My dad grew up without the Internet, so he’s the type to get on my case if I’m spending too much time online. I’m starting to understand his mentality now because although computer skills are great it’s equally important to have a skill with your hands.
Everyone should have a hobby that doesn’t involve using their phone or computer. This not only sets them up to find a physical, high-paying job but it’s also very satisfying because you can reflect on what you have accomplished (that’s right in front of your face).
It’s good to get away from it all. There’s no need to always have information, otherwise you get information overload. Once you get burnt out on information it’s hard to get back into that groove so a bit of down time here and there is well worth it, especially if it means you can spend more time with your family and bond.
While being supportive of their quest for knowledge and understanding – how do you plan to educate your child about the wonderful opportunities (and dangers) of being connected to the world?