I was fortunate enough this week to volunteer for this event.
For those not familiar with what Media140 is all about, the site is here: media140. They can explain themselves better than I can, suffice to say it was a three day event covering the digital future we are facing and how best to move forward in that world.
Through all of the talks and presentations, there were some over-riding concepts.
We, as in the current generations of adults, are entering the world of a truly digital future. This requires new ways to look at this new world, as the old ways of thinking are not necessarily conducive to moving forward. While we embrace this new technology with open arms, we are still trying to overlay them with old modes of thought that do not run concurrent. As such, we need to adapt our minds as we adapt our lives and bodies to these new devices we seem to take everywhere. This means new ways of thinking about commerce, connectivity and engagement with life in general. Part of the responsibilities in this new role we have taken on is to open the channels of communication about the issues surrounding web use.
Our children learn first by watching our examples. If we do not lead by example, how can we assume they will listen to us when we try to sit down and speak with them about the potential pros and cons of the web? Notice I used “speak with” and not “speak to”. This is something very important to me personally, and was touched on by a few speakers. We need to speak with our kids and not orate to them. They actually know more about the digital world than we may give them credit for, or even the they give themselves credit for. We need to allow them to bring what they know to the table, but also give them an environment where they feel they can ask us about things they don’t understand. *** Potential backlash warning *** I think this is a fundamental problem in many families I have seen. Sometimes this includes my own. We do not give our children what they so desperate need, and that is the feeling that it is okay to fail, it is okay to ask questions, it is okay to not know.
And at this point, it’s time for some squee. Miss9 just came up for big squishy huggles. Okay. Squee-mum is done. Back to the other stuff.
Ahem. So. Where was I? Yes. Too many parents that I see think they can fix all of their kids problems for them. How does this give them the space to learn from their own mistakes? We have this societal mentality of failing being such a bad thing. Combine this with the idea that we, as parents, do not want our children to have to make the mistakes we have made, and we have a recipe for disaster. To this end, I have given up on trying to give my child access to the repository of my learning. My mistake, vast and varied as they may be, are not hers to learn from. They are mine to learn from. While some may see it as a kindness to try and impart their knowledge to their kids, I strongly believe all it achieves is resentment on their end at not being allowed to discover for themselves.
Right, so that’s that rant over and done with. Yes, those were the main themes covered by the event Media140. New ways of thinking for new technologies. Food for thought most sincerely.