I have been thinking lately about how different the world is now from when I was a child.
What’s it like to grow up in a world where you have never experienced life without a smartphone? Or social media?
Will my children have an understanding of privacy? Of boundaries?
What’s it like to have bits and pieces of your entire life on display for people to see?
Sure we have privacy settings. Sure the people who have access to our children’s lives and pictures are people we choose – but still. They aren’t making the choice. We are.
What will that be like for them?
Will they ever resent the words I’ve shared? Or the photos I’ve posted?
As a writer, I share a lot about my kids. And they know this. And they are okay with it. Now. But will they always be? Will they ever wish I hadn’t shared so much?
It’s a strange concept really – having bits and pieces of your entire life hiding somewhere on the internet. Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Blogs. YouTube. Pinterest.
This is the only world they will ever know.
Their understanding of privacy is completely different than mine.
The only way my childhood photos were shared was when someone came to my home and the photo album was brought out – which wasn’t often.
There’s a lot of talk about different generations. Baby Boomers. Gen X. Millennials. And now our children’s generation – the iGeneration.
What will it be like for them?
A generation to never know a world where people don’t walk around looking at their phones all day long.
A generation to never know what it’s like to live without the temptation of screen time.
A generation looking up at their parents, tugging on their legs, competing with the device for their parents attention.
What will it be like for them?
As a writer, I have been thinking lately about what I want to share. There are parts of my story I feel like it’s time for me to share. Parts that may help other people. Stories of redemption. Moments where God turned ashes in my life to beautiful jewels. But what about my children? What happens as I begin to share more of my life? My story? How does this impact them?
What’s it like to have so much of your life, and your parent’s life, on display?
I don’t think it’s all bad. And I don’t think it’s all good. I think it falls somewhere in between. As most things do.
I am sure there are advantages. And disadvantages.
The iGeneration is a unique generation indeed. And parenting the iGeneration comes with it’s own challenges – unique to parents who are raising children who will never know a world without devices.
My son is sick. And he has spent all day either in bed on the iPad or at the counter on the iPad. And I’ve let him. Because he’s sick. And it’s all he wants to do. And at least he isn’t throwing up anymore.
Does this make me a bad mom? I don’t think so.
But this is one of the challenges I face as a parent. When to use the iPad? And when not to? What to share? And what not to share?
I don’t have the answers. But I am trying my best. As I am sure you are, too. And we will learn. And our children will learn.
And hopefully they will do better. And our wrongs will be made right. If more privacy is needed – they will implement it.
It will be like cigarette smoking.
Can you believe people smoked in airplanes? What were they thinking?
Can you believe parents posted Every. Single. Thing. about their child’s life? What were they thinking?
Hopefully, if this needs to be corrected – if it needs to be made right over time, it will be. And if they grow up and are okay with it, then it will continue. Only time will tell.
And until then, we will just keep trying our best. And hoping we are making the right choices. And trying to limit device usage. And being okay with iPad sick days. And posting some things. But not all things.
And hoping that one day our kids won’t ask us what we were thinking – but being okay with the fact that someday that may happen.
And being prepared to cross that bridge and say I’m sorry. I was learning with you. I didn’t fully know how this would affect you.
If one day that time does come.