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Monday, May 11, 2015

Welcome to the World... Wide Web (Part 1 - Baby Selfies)

I've spoken to a lot of people since becoming a parent about their fear of raising children today.  Yes, it's a fear of mine too, with Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Tumblr, etc. being so present in children's lives.  All I can picture is K, who is almost 8 months old, doing the upside down "peace" sign, with his lips puckered out, taking a selfie.  This makes me cringe!

My students are at the age where they take selfies left and right and post them all over Instagram.  Then, they comment on everyone else's posts: "you're cute bae", "love ya bae", "tbh, i don't really know you, but i see you around at school and your pretty".  (Yes, the typos are intentional).  What the heck does "bae" mean?  Is it short for "babe"?  Where'd the other "b" go?

Seeing all of this and having taught students of that age before going on mat leave has motivated my husband and I to make a conscious effort in the last few months to not be on our phones, iPads or computers very often when little K is awake and around.  I don't want him to think that those things are so incredibly important and crucial that 1) he will be asking for a phone at like 6 years old (You never know!), 2) he thinks we put our phones before him, and 3) electronics become his addiction and PLAYING is something so foreign to him.  Don't get me wrong, it's HARD, like really HARD sometimes.  I hear the "ding" signalling that I have a new message from my mommy friends and I just want to check.  I eye that phone seductively.  Just one little peak...  And then I think "No, resist!" This may be partly because the last living thing I spoke to, other than my child, was Bernard the squirrel while I was doing the dishes.

I don't like when people say that they don't want kids simply because of "how the world is today".  Yes, of course, it's scary!  Who knows who the heck my kid is going to meet at school and is going to copy, because he thinks his friend is cool!  Who knows what kind of trouble he's going to get into!  That, however, won't stop me from living the joys of having a child/children.  The way that my son looks at me and smiles with so much love in his eyes, makes all of those fears go away.  All I can do for this little guy is to make sure he feels loved, to do my best at making sure he is safe and being a positive influence and guide in his life.  That's it!  Regardless of when a child grows up - 2015, 1990, 1940 - it doesn't matter!  Life will happen and I will enjoy the ride as much as I can, with my beautiful family!

Stay tuned for the next part of the Welcome to the World... Wide Web series.


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