Have you ever met someone that you just couldn’t figure out how you felt about them? That’s how I am with technology- particularly social media. Through the years, what started as a complete aversion to me has morphed into a very clear love/hate relationship.
I know, I know. This is the 21st century. Times have changed and the world has changed right along with it, which, to be honest, is the only reason I own this laptop to begin with.
I’m one of those people who just likes to live simply. I like books I can physically hold in my hands, I plan all of our homeschool lessons on paper, and my calendar is hanging on my wall- not stored on a microchip in my phone.
To be sure, technology has certainly been beneficial to our family. Google is one of my very best friends, and I never would have been able to create this amazing platform to communicate my thoughts- rambling though they may be at times- to all of you.
Without the worldwide web there would be no Khan Academy, no Amazon, and no Netflix.
There would also be no Facebook, no Twitter, no Tumblr, and no YouTube…which is where this love/hate relationship begins.
As a blogger, social media is such a great way to not only spread the word about my blog, but it is also a great way to stay connected with all of the awesome people who take the time to read what I write.
Writing is truly the only time I actually take for myself. It is my “me time”, and what better way to spend this time than by not simply journaling like I used to do, but by posting my ideas, my hopes, and my dreams for all the world to see? Social media has been such a blessing in helping others to know what I’m all about, and I truly enjoy communicating with people that way.
I have my issues with it, as well. Most of these issues stem from my role as a mother, mainly this one thing…
I don’t like what my kids are being exposed to while they’re online. As a mom who is trying to take advantage of our homeschooling lifestyle to instill Christian values in my children, I’m finding that my kids are being exposed to the same sorts of things that I wanted to keep them away from in school. And if that weren’t bad enough, we adults know that the adage “If it’s on the internet, then it must be true” is meant as a joke, but I’m finding that a lot of kids don’t realize that. Countless times, recently, I’ve had to set my kids straight on one falsehood or another being spread on Facebook, Kik, Tumblr, or some other popular teen social media platform.
I could just throw in the towel and say, “That’s it…I’m done with social media and so are my kids,” but, really, what would that accomplish? As teenagers who are quickly approaching adulthood- in fact, my oldest daughter just started her first job today- they are going to learn about these things one way or another. I’ve come to realize that maybe learning about them online isn’t such a bad thing because at home I’m better able to address these issues with them immediately.
My kids and I really do have great relationships, and they open up to me all the time about all sorts of things, so we’ve had some very lively conversations about various “news headlines” their friends on Tumblr insist is true. And, yes, I’ve got to put in a homeschooling plug here because I really don’t think our relationships would be what they are if they were away from me all day.
To be honest, I really didn’t know where I was going to go with this when I began writing…but I’ve had an epiphany of sorts while sitting here expressing my thoughts:
No relationship is perfect, but it’s important to find the good that’s hidden in the bad.
I’m going to take this love/hate relationship and turn it into something positive- an opportunity for open discussion on those issues they will inevitably be faced with.
If it comes down to learning about these things at home where I can guide them, or after they’re out on their own, it’s really a no-brainer.
You know? I’m starting to think that technology just might not be so bad after all.