The pros and cons of technology
Our technology is powerful! Like money, technology magnifies impact.
Having more or less money doesn’t make a person better or worse, but it does change their ability to affect others. A rich do-gooder can do a lot of good. A rich ne’er-do-well can be very destructive. Technology works like this, too.
What matters is the message. If I carefully craft my message, and it’s useful for you, I can have a big and positive impact. So can anyone.
On the flip side, the careless user (including the novice user) can be oh-so destructive. Post a rant, a picture, or a video that casts yourself or someone else in a bad light, and it is incredibly difficult to completely erase that post from cyberspace. It is so easy to post, and it feels anonymous, and the author might misjudge how the post will be received by others. There are so many reasons why our kids get into trouble online.
It’s a parenting challenge that didn’t exist for our parents, but it exists for us. We have three options:
- We can shield our kids from technology, limiting tech’s impact on them and their ability to impact the world (both positively and negatively)
- We can grant them access and hope for the best (but you’ve read those horror stories, I’m sure)
- We can carefully guide our children, skill-building with them and slowly granting more freedom online as they show us they can handle it
I advocate for option #3. It’s what your child needs and wants. It also requires the most care and effort from you.
No joke – this is hard. That’s why The Third Talk exists: to support you through it.
Take advantage of the good our technology can offer us. Pick the option that’s right for you:
Cyberspace is a dangerous and tricky place for kids. At the same time, it’s incredibly empowering.
Let’s leverage that power.