Loving the San Francisco Bay Area... Community development, urban ministry, trying to defeat poverty, faith, religion, politics, good music, the quest for the perfect pizza, the Yankees, motorcycles... All in a 'day's life'

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Growing Up Online

I recently saw a great episode of Frontline called "Growing Up Online". To me, this is the natural extension of Jeremy Del Rio's "Mook's, Midriffs, Myspace and More" teaching. In the episode the narrator states that this is the most significant generation gap since rock and roll in the 60's. I agree that many parents don't get how addictive and important their kids online profiles are and will become. As I've heard some of the experts say lately, the next wave, even greater than the social networking sites, will be virtual reality sites like Second Life where people can create an existence of their own design. Even Silicon Valley giants like Sun Microsystems have begun using Second Life for video conferencing. This shows the importance and usefulness of this type of program. 

Sites like this blog are already passe to young people. They've left this form of expression to us old folks! 

If you have kids, they certainly know about and most likely are using Myspace and Facebook. Over 90% of kids are online, and the number is growing. There is no way around it. So, the question is, how, as parents (and concerned people, youth workers and pastors) are we to act? We have to find ways to be both police and encouragers. There are many good things about a life online, but as with anything - there are many perils. We have to find a way to provide boundaries without being obtrusive. Samuel is only 12 right now - so I know I have a lot to learn. 

I look at the time I spend online (i.e. this blog). Between his online account with Playstation and his website my son is starting to rival my time online. I have to think strategically, knowing the times we live in.

Watch the episode - and please post your thoughts....

Like they used to say on TV (remember that??) - It's now 12:30 in East Palo Alto, do you know what your kids are posting online? Quite chilling!

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