Thursday, January 28, 2010

Internet Data Privacy Day

I learned from an article through AOL that today is Internet Data Privacy Day. The article had an absolute wealth of links to all kinds of wonderful web sites dedicated to many aspects of digital literacy. I will be adding a section on internet safety to my sidebar in honor of today.

I think the most important quote from the article is "You as a parent need to catch up. But first you should make sure that you understand what they are doing. You also need to be sure that you've protected your own data sufficiently." Why? As it says on the American Academy of Pediatrics site, "While today’s tweens and teens may be more digitally savvy than their parents, their lack of maturity and life experience can quickly get them into trouble with these new social venues."

Please don't get me wrong, because I rarely make the mistake of selling today's tweens and teens short, but let's face it—our brains don't stop developing until our mid-twenties. Tweens and teens are by nature and definition not entirely mature. The years we spend as tweens and teens are all about figuring out who we are and becoming who we're going to be—and we always make mistakes as we go through that process.

Luckily, most tweens and teens have loving and caring adults who have seen what the big mistake—the truly horrible, life-altering mistakes—can be and desperately want to help tweens and teens avoid them.

I think that's why digital media, the internet, and even cell phones are so scary to many parents. It's all so new and it's more difficult to catch those big, horrible, life-altering mistakes before they happen. Difficult, but not impossible—that's why they need to catch up.

I think the most important site I saw today was the American Academy of Pediatrics site I mentioned earlier. It details, step by step, how parents and guardians can help their children of all ages not makes those really big mistakes. In all honesty, when I was growing up I thought that my parents were a little too strict. I hardly got away with anything fun. Now that I'm an adult, I'm thankful for it—just like the way that hard-to-please teacher got the best work out of me. My parents helped me not make any big, horrible, life-altering mistakes.

So here's my message to all the tweens and teens out there. Yes, I just asked your parents to invade your digital spaces. You might be angry with me about that right now. But I'm willing to bet that you'll be thankful for it later.

Be careful,
Rev. Josh

1 comment:

Rev. Josh said...

Here's a great example of the kind of thing to educate yourself about before you freak out!

Facebook Example