Since giving my Internet safety talk, several attendees have approached me to thank me for what I presented. I asked each person what they took away as most meaningful. One that stands out is being conscious of what we as parents model for our children. In my role as a technology educator and even before at a classroom teacher, much of what I did was electronic and carried with it a commitment to a certain amount of screen time.
In my effort to really push my development, I have upped that amount considerably. This blog plus my other one on parenting, much of my time at work, and keeping up with RSS feeds eat up many hours a day. All of this work, however, is on the creative or at least educative end of the spectrum.
On the entertainment end, I have found myself spending more and more time watching movies and TV series on Netflix. I also spend time on Facebook and other websites. When I am healthy and motivated, this additional screen time disappears as I utilize that time to read, do home repair, create art, do projects, and follow my whims in the physical world.
As with other things, I am working on changing these habits regardless of how I am feeling because my children are at such an impressionable age. They will see me pick up the phone whenever someone calls, they will see me grab my iPad when I am board, they will see me at the computer for work. They see it all. Today as my daughter and I walked to the grocery store, her imaginary phone rang, and she had to answer it and have one side of a conversation with her friend from school. She is just modelling what she sees. If I don’t like what I see, there is only one place to go to change that.