These once-simple physical indicators are getting more and more lost on our tweens, who spend most of their time in cyberspace.
Tweens want to communicate with friends, though the wish is not so much for actual face-time, as it is for broadcasting their life on the Internet. Their lack of knowledge of how to “read” people, due to youth as well computer addiction is potentially dangerous.; a young person is likely to mistake an online predator for someone who is genuinely interested in him or her.
We chronological adults have to remember that we’re immigrants to cyber world. Our children are naturalized citizens here and if one door to this magic world is closed to them, they will willingly kick another door in, just to be with their friends.
People reading this of adult years: in order to understand the whole concept better, think of it as sneaking out of your parents’ house after your parents are asleep to meet that person you really like…but with typos and weird smile faces hanging in midair.
So in what seems to be an increasingly dangerous world of cyber-danger, what can parents and educators do with their tween’s intent on broadcasting on the Internet?
There are groups who provide safe places for your tween to broadcast about him or her. Content is overseen by adults, and the kids are instructed on what is or isn’t appropriate information for posting.
The following is a list, originally provided by “Tweens’ Secret Lives Online” which first appeared in the US edition of the Wall Street Journal.
Social-media site where kids create video reviews of books, films, food, and clothes.
Photo-sharing app acquired by Facebook; which makes kids worry that it will lose its cool.
A site whose purpose is to teach kids how to create and be responsible with social media.
Disney-owned site with safety controlled technology. Kids can connect and chat, but only type certain words and phrases.
Girls ages 5 to 12 meet here to talk fashion. They are encouraged to design and order custom-made garments.
The child who is ‘left behind’ most is the one who leaves school without transition readiness.
Dr. James Stanfield, Ed.D.