Just a generation ago, the generation I grew up in, we listened to record albums (yes, the round, flat, vinyl things) and had phones that were rotary dial and attached to the wall. Parachute pants and Def Leppard were super cool, and when record albums gave way to cassette tapes- we thought technology was really changing. The first computer my family had was a Commodore Vic 20 – and my brothers and I thought we really had something special with this new ‘technology’. Fast forward to 1990 when I’m sitting in my college marketing class and the professor made a very far-fetched prediction that someday, each person would have their own personal phone they would carry around with them and answer vs. the household phone number we were accustomed to then. As I reached down to fix the tight roll on my Z Cavaricci jeans, I was thinking he had been smoking too much of something. That won’t happen in my lifetime. Heck, at that point, I hadn’t even had to learn to use a computer mouse, and Al Gore hadn’t yet invented the internet.
Why reminisce? Because so very much has changed in a relatively short period of time. And, because the giant leap in technology has created dramatic new challenges for us as parents, who are parenting the first era of children growing up with fast-paced communication technology that wasn’t in existence when we were young.
And, why is this so important? Because the generation gap has widened, and the modern day playground looks completely different. Our children’s social lives are a curation of both physical and virtual communities and “friends”. The new social currency is based on “likes,” “shares,” and “retweets.” We are blazing our own new trails as we navigate the best ways to guild our children’s experiences and help them be productive digital citizens.
Thus the purpose for this blog – Electronic Parenting. There is an enormous opportunity to come together as a community of engaged parents and talk about our challenges and resolutions and ideas we’ve discovered that help us all be effective parents for our kids in today’s electronic world.